How to format your references using the BMC Evolutionary Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for BMC Evolutionary 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. Schübeler D. Function and information content of DNA methylation. Nature. 2015;517:321–6.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Page MT, Hough SE. The New Madrid Seismic Zone: not dead yet. Science. 2014;343:762–4.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Park S-J, Taton TA, Mirkin CA. Array-based electrical detection of DNA with nanoparticle probes. Science. 2002;295:1503–6.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Sun C, Bufford D, Chen Y, Kirk MA, Wang YQ, Li M, et al. In situ study of defect migration kinetics in nanoporous Ag with enhanced radiation tolerance. Sci Rep. 2014;4:3737.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Lundberg U, Cooper CL. The Science of Occupational Health. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell; 2010.
An edited book
1. Yang J, Ginige A, Mayr HC, Kutsche R-D, editors. Information Systems: Modeling, Development, and Integration: Third International United Information Systems Conference, UNISCON 2009, Sydney, Australia, April 21-24, 2009. Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2009.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Fokkink R, Geupel L, Kikuta K. Open Problems on Search Games. In: Alpern S, Fokkink R, Gąsieniec L, Lindelauf R, Subrahmanian VS, editors. Search Theory: A Game Theoretic Perspective. New York, NY: Springer; 2013. p. 75–81.

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 Evolutionary Biology.

Blog post
1. Andrew E. Deadly Nepal Earthquake Caused Mount Everest to Shift Three Centimeters. IFLScience. 2015. Accessed 30 Oct 2018.


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. Improper Use of Federal Student Aid Funds for Lobbying Activities. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1982.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Sutton DL. Alumni perceptions of the role of field education in professional preparation. Doctoral dissertation. California State University, Long Beach; 2015.

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. Johnson G. Beyond Energy, Matter, Time and Space. New York Times. 2014;:D6.

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 Evolutionary Biology
AbbreviationBMC Evol. Biol.
ISSN (online)1471-2148
ScopeEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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