How to format your references using the BMC Bioinformatics citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for BMC Bioinformatics. 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
1. Gershon D. Structural genomics--from cottage industry to industrial revolution. Nature. 2000;408:273–4.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Chin G, Culotta E. The science of inequality. What the numbers tell us. Introduction. Science. 2014;344:818–21.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Baldwin MP, Dameris M, Shepherd TG. Atmosphere. How will the stratosphere affect climate change? Science. 2007;316:1576–7.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Struzhkin VV, Eremets MI, Gan W, Mao H-K, Hemley RJ. Superconductivity in dense lithium. Science. 2002;298:1213–5.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Xu QA, Madden TL. Analytical Methods for Therapeutic Drug Monitoring and Toxicology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2011.
An edited book
1. Zubelzu S. Carbon Footprint and Urban Planning: Incorporating Methodologies to Assess the Influence of the Urban Master Plan on the Carbon Footprint of the City. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Yuan W, Sickel W, Yang D. Pseudo-Differential Operators. In: Sickel W, Yang D, editors. Morrey and Campanato Meet Besov, Lizorkin and Triebel. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2010. p. 137–46.

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 BMC Bioinformatics.

Blog post
1. Andrew E. Octopus That Walks On Land. IFLScience. 2014.


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
1. Government Accountability Office. Evidence Is Insufficient To Support the Administration’s Proposed Changes to AFDC Work Programs. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1985.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. McCallum-Bonar C. Black Ashkenaz And the Almost Promised Land: Yiddish Literature and the Harlem Renaissance. Doctoral dissertation. Ohio State University; 2008.

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
1. Lavin L. I Sang in New York. New York Times. 2017;:AR5.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [1].
This sentence cites two references [1, 2].
This sentence cites four references [1–4].

About the journal

Full journal titleBMC Bioinformatics
AbbreviationBMC Bioinformatics
ISSN (online)1471-2105
Molecular Biology
Structural Biology
Computer Science Applications
Applied Mathematics

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