How to format your references using the BMC Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for BMC Biology. 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. Coppi P. Astronomy. Inside a cosmic train wreck. Science. 2007;316:1852–4.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Bouwens RJ, Illingworth GD. Rapid evolution of the most luminous galaxies during the first 900 million years. Nature. 2006;443:189–92.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Zhang Q, Piston DW, Goodman RH. Regulation of corepressor function by nuclear NADH. Science. 2002;295:1895–7.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Baillie JK, Barnett MW, Upton KR, Gerhardt DJ, Richmond TA, De Sapio F, et al. Somatic retrotransposition alters the genetic landscape of the human brain. Nature. 2011;479:534–7.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. First MB, Tasman A. Clinical Guide to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Disorders. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2006.
An edited book
1. Zajda J, Davies L, Majhanovich S, editors. Comparative and Global Pedagogies: Equity, Access and Democracy in Education. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands; 2008.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Laney DC, Maggio GM. Ultra-Wideband Communications Using Pseudo-Chaotic Time Hopping. In: Larson LE, Tsimring LS, Liu J-M, editors. Digital Communications Using Chaos and Nonlinear Dynamics. New York, NY: Springer; 2006. p. 91–132.

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 Biology.

Blog post
1. Davis J. Norway Is The First Country To Commit To Zero Deforestation. IFLScience. 2016. https://www.iflscience.com/environment/norway-is-the-first-country-to-commit-to-zero-deforestation/. Accessed 30 Oct 2018.

Reports

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. B-2 Bomber: Acquisition Cost Estimates. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1993.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Khatib E. A phenomenological study on the potential impact of implementing information systems in midsize corporations. Doctoral dissertation. University of Phoenix; 2010.

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. Greenhouse L. Court Limits Protection Against Improper Entry. New York Times. 2006;:A28.

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 Biology
AbbreviationBMC Biol.
ISSN (online)1741-7007
ScopeGeneral Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Plant Science
General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Biotechnology
Cell Biology
Developmental Biology
Physiology
Structural Biology

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