How to format your references using the Briefings in Bioinformatics citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Briefings in 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. Centola D. An experimental study of homophily in the adoption of health behavior. Science 2011; 334:1269–1272
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Convey P, Stevens MI. Ecology. Antarctic biodiversity. Science 2007; 317:1877–1878
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Hawks J, de Ruiter DJ, Berger LR. PALEOANTHROPOLOGY. Comment on ‘Early Homo at 2.8 Ma from Ledi-Geraru, Afar, Ethiopia’. Science 2015; 348:1326
A journal article with 4 or more authors
1. Bouillard J-S, Segovia P, Dickson W, et al. Shaping plasmon beams via the controlled illumination of finite-size plasmonic crystals. Sci. Rep. 2014; 4:7234

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Rao KR, Bojkovic ZS, Milovanovic DA. Introduction to Multimedia Communications. 2005;
An edited book
1. . China Green Development Index Report 2011. 2013;
A chapter in an edited book
1. Deswarte Y, Gambs S. Towards a Privacy-Preserving National Identity Card. Data Privacy Management and Autonomous Spontaneous Security: 4th International Workshop, DPM 2009 and Second International Workshop, SETOP 2009, St. Malo, France, September 24-25, 2009, Revised Selected Papers 2010; 48–64

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 Briefings in Bioinformatics.

Blog post
1. Evans K. 7 Things In Your Daily Life That You Didn’t Know Were Based On NASA Innovations. IFLScience 2016;


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. Improvements Can Be Made in the Fiscal Management of CETA. 1982;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Fernandes JM. Physical and chemical properties of Jupiter’s north and south polar vortex revealed through mid-infrared imaging. 2017;

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. Creswell J, Story L. On All Levels of the Economy, Concern About the Impasse: Losing Top Rating Could Cost Growth And Job Creation. New York Times 2011; B1

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 titleBriefings in Bioinformatics
AbbreviationBrief. Bioinform.
ISSN (print)1467-5463
ISSN (online)1477-4054
ScopeMolecular Biology
Information Systems

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