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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for BMC Systems 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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. Macilwain C. NSF celebrates half a century with big plans. Nature. 2000;405:8.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Stixrude L, Karki B. Structure and freezing of MgSiO3 liquid in Earth’s lower mantle. Science. 2005;310:297–9.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Rigol M, Dunjko V, Olshanii M. Thermalization and its mechanism for generic isolated quantum systems. Nature. 2008;452:854–8.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Park MS, Ma SB, Lee DJ, Im D, Doo S-G, Yamamoto O. A highly reversible lithium metal anode. Sci Rep. 2014;4:3815.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Equipment Testing Procedures Committee. Centrifugal Pumps (Newtonian Liquids). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2002.
An edited book
1. Ishii H, Kudo K, Nakayama T, Ueno N, editors. Electronic Processes in Organic Electronics: Bridging Nanostructure, Electronic States and Device Properties. Tokyo: Springer Japan; 2015.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Russo V, Marchisio M, Pierdomenico L, Barboni B, Ioannoni A, Valbonetti L, et al. Sheep Calcaneal Tendon Repair Subsequent to Amniotic-Derived Stem Cell Allotransplantation. In: Pugliese A, Gaiti A, Boiti C, editors. Veterinary Science: Current Aspects in Biology, Animal Pathology, Clinic and Food Hygiene. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2012. p. 27–32.

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 Systems Biology.

Blog post
1. O`Callaghan J. Scientists Investigate Mysterious “Crater” In Antarctica. IFLScience. 2016. https://www.iflscience.com/environment/mysterious-crater-in-antarctica-likely-formed-by-wind-not-meteorite/. 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. Public Transportation: Use of Contractors is Generally Enhancing Transit Project Oversight, and FTA is Taking Actions to Address Some Stakeholder Concerns. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2010.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Xiong Y. Immuno-Magnetic T Cell Depletion for Allogeneic Hematological Stem Cell Transplantation. 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. Ketner L. Quotation of the Day. New York Times. 2009;:A3.

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 Systems Biology
AbbreviationBMC Syst. Biol.
ISSN (online)1752-0509
ScopeMolecular Biology
Structural Biology
Computer Science Applications
Applied Mathematics
Modelling and Simulation

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