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. Greaves JS. Disks around stars and the growth of planetary systems. Science. 2005;307:68–71.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Yaghoubi A, Mélinon P. Tunable synthesis and in situ growth of silicon-carbon mesostructures using impermeable plasma. Sci Rep. 2013;3:1083.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Pagel M, Venditti C, Meade A. Large punctuational contribution of speciation to evolutionary divergence at the molecular level. Science. 2006;314:119–21.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Reith F, Rogers SL, McPhail DC, Webb D. Biomineralization of gold: biofilms on bacterioform gold. Science. 2006;313:233–6.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Hammes GG. Spectroscopy for the Biological Sciences. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2005.
An edited book
1. Crockett LJ, Carlo G, editors. Rural Ethnic Minority Youth and Families in the United States: Theory, Research, and Applications. 1st ed. 2016. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Zagrebaev VI, Karpov AV, Mishustin IN, Greiner W. Superheavies: Short-Term Experiments and Far-Reaching Designs. In: Greiner W, editor. Exciting Interdisciplinary Physics: Quarks and Gluons / Atomic Nuclei / Relativity and Cosmology / Biological Systems. Heidelberg: Springer International Publishing; 2013. p. 55–67.

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. This Man Has Been Shedding The Polio Virus For 28 Years. 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. National Transportation Safety Board: Progress Made in Management Practices, Investigation Priorities, Training Center Use, and Information Security, But These Areas Continue to Need Improvement. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2008.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Wilson MB. Constructions of childhood found in award -winning children’s literature. Doctoral dissertation. University of Arizona; 2009.

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. (nyt) SK. World Briefing | Europe: Russia: Apartment Toll At 58. New York Times. 2004;:A8.

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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