How to format your references using the BioSystems citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for BioSystems. For a complete guide how to prepare your manuscript refer to the journal's instructions to authors.

Using reference management software

Typically you don't format your citations and bibliography by hand. The easiest way is to use a reference manager:

PaperpileThe citation style is built in and you can choose it in Settings > Citation Style or Paperpile > Citation Style in Google Docs.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
Mendeley, Zotero, Papers, and othersThe style is either built in or you can download a CSL file that is supported by most references management programs.
BibTeXBibTeX syles are usually part of a LaTeX template. Check the instructions to authors if the publisher offers a LaTeX template for this journal.

Journal articles

Those examples are references to articles in scholarly journals and how they are supposed to appear in your bibliography.

Not all journals organize their published articles in volumes and issues, so these fields are optional. Some electronic journals do not provide a page range, but instead list an article identifier. In a case like this it's safe to use the article identifier instead of the page range.

A journal article with 1 author
Snow, C.E., 2010. Academic language and the challenge of reading for learning about science. Science 328, 450–452.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ghezzi, I., Ruggles, C., 2007. Chankillo: a 2300-year-old solar observatory in coastal Peru. Science 315, 1239–1243.
A journal article with 3 authors
Tzfira, T., Vaidya, M., Citovsky, V., 2004. Involvement of targeted proteolysis in plant genetic transformation by Agrobacterium. Nature 431, 87–92.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Pereira, M., Pfisterer, U., Rylander, D., Torper, O., Lau, S., Lundblad, M., Grealish, S., Parmar, M., 2014. Highly efficient generation of induced neurons from human fibroblasts that survive transplantation into the adult rat brain. Sci. Rep. 4, 6330.

Books and book chapters

Here are examples of references for authored and edited books as well as book chapters.

An authored book
da Silva, L.S., Simões, R., Gervásio, H., Couchman, G., 2015. Design of Steel Structures. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany.
An edited book
Cristiani, E., 2014. Multiscale Modeling of Pedestrian Dynamics, MS&A, Modeling, Simulation and Applications. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Caillat, C., Perrakis, A., 2012. Cdt1 and Geminin in DNA Replication Initiation, in: MacNeill, S. (Ed.), The Eukaryotic Replisome: A Guide to Protein Structure and Function, Subcellular Biochemistry. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp. 71–87.

Web sites

Sometimes references to web sites should appear directly in the text rather than in the bibliography. Refer to the Instructions to authors for BioSystems.

Blog post
Andrew, E., 2015. The Dusky Dottyback, A Master Of Disguise In The Animal World [WWW Document]. IFLScience. URL (accessed 10.30.18).


This example shows the general structure used for government reports, technical reports, and scientific reports. If you can't locate the report number then it might be better to cite the report as a book. For reports it is usually not individual people that are credited as authors, but a governmental department or agency like "U. S. Food and Drug Administration" or "National Cancer Institute".

Government report
Government Accountability Office, 1985. Implementation of the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982 (No. 128369). U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Anderson, E., 2017. Predicting Home Purchase Location in DC: An Intersectional Approach (Doctoral dissertation). George Washington University, Washington, DC.

News paper articles

Unlike scholarly journals, news papers do not usually have a volume and issue number. Instead, the full date and page number is required for a correct reference.

New York Times article
Schilling, M.K., 2017. The Accidental Tourist. New York Times M2106.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Snow, 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Ghezzi and Ruggles, 2007; Snow, 2010).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Ghezzi and Ruggles, 2007)
  • Three or more authors: (Pereira et al., 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleBioSystems
ISSN (print)0303-2647
ScopeGeneral Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Applied Mathematics
Modelling and Simulation
Statistics and Probability
General Medicine

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