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. Vahala KJ. Optical microcavities. Nature 2003; 424:839–846
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Ben-Jacob E, Levine H. The artistry of nature. Nature 2001; 409:985–986
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Ellis AS, Johnson TM, Bullen TD. Chromium isotopes and the fate of hexavalent chromium in the environment. Science 2002; 295:2060–2062
A journal article with 4 or more authors
1. Egorov AV, Hamam BN, Fransén E, et al. Graded persistent activity in entorhinal cortex neurons. Nature 2002; 420:173–178

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Dinet J. Information Retrieval in Digital Environments. 2014;
An edited book
1. . Erythropoietins, Erythropoietic Factors, and Erythropoiesis: Molecular, Cellular, Preclinical, and Clinical Biology. 2009;
A chapter in an edited book
1. Aikins JK. Indigenising Democracy? Renegotiating the Role of Indigenous Political Authorities in Ghana’s Constitution Review. Negotiating Normativity 2016; 61–77

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. Andrews R. Military Officials Say Climate Change Presents ‘Significant And Direct Risks To US Homeland’. 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. Comments on H.R. 5103, Snyder letter. 1981;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Davis TE. Sedimentation solutions for the Port of Gulfport, MS. 2010;

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. Rothenberg B. Ninth-Seeded Radwanska Exceeds Her Expectations. New York Times 2017; D3

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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