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. Knight J. Drugs firms inflate research costs, watchdog says. Nature 2001; 412:571
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Bravo-Abad J, Soljacić M. Physics. A unified picture of laser physics. Science 2008; 320:623–624
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Tylianakis JM, Tscharntke T, Lewis OT. Habitat modification alters the structure of tropical host-parasitoid food webs. Nature 2007; 445:202–205
A journal article with 4 or more authors
1. Getz G, Höfling H, Mesirov JP, et al. Comment on ‘The consensus coding sequences of human breast and colorectal cancers’. Science 2007; 317:1500

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Seyfried TN. Cancer as a Metabolic Disease. 2012;
An edited book
1. . Net Neutrality or Net Neutering: Should Broadband Internet Services be Regulated. 2006;
A chapter in an edited book
1. Cristini C, Cesa-Bianchi M, Cesa-Bianchi G, et al. Creatività e salute in età senile. L’ultima creatività: Luci nella vecchiaia 2011; 79–95

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. Andrew E. Lyme Disease: A Ticking Time Bomb. 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. Teacher Training: Status and Participants’ Views of Delta Teachers Academy. 1995;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Mannar NK. Hri-Tech Consultants, LLC. 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. Greenhouse L. Administration Rebuffed On House Office Search. New York Times 2008; A17

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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