How to format your references using the Genome Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Genome 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. Roberts D. Adrienne Asch (1946-2013). Nature. 2013;504:377.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Littman DR, Singh H. Immunology. Asymmetry and immune memory. Science. 2007;315:1673–4.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Horodecki M, Oppenheim J, Winter A. Partial quantum information. Nature. 2005;436:673–6.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Zhuang H, Zhang L, Fuchs R, Staedler T, Jiang X. When epitaxy meets plasma: a path to ordered nanosheets arrays. Sci Rep. 2013;3:2427.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Hitz B, Ewing JJ, Hecht J. Introduction to Laser Technology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2005.
An edited book
1. Escher J, Guidotti P, Hieber M, Mucha P, Prüss JW, Shibata Y, et al., editors. Parabolic Problems: The Herbert Amann Festschrift. Basel: Springer; 2011.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Dorak MT, Yazici Y. Biomarkers, Genetic Association, and Genomic Studies. In: Yazici H, Yazici Y, Lesaffre E, editors. Understanding Evidence-Based Rheumatology: A Guide to Interpreting Criteria, Drugs, Trials, Registries, and Ethics. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2014. p. 79–126.

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 Genome Biology.

Blog post
1. Taub B. Indonesian Birds Face Extinction Thanks To Illegal Pet Trade. IFLScience. 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. Weather Forecasting: Important Issues on Automated Weather Processing System Need Resolution. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1993 Jan. Report No.: IMTEC-93-12BR.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Zbeeb K. Transport and dispersion of fire extinguishing agents downstream from clutter elements of aircraft engine nacelles [Doctoral dissertation]. [Boca Raton, FL]: Florida Atlantic University; 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. Vecsey G. Maybe Bradley Should Make the First Move. New York Times. 2010 Aug 10;B11.

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 titleGenome Biology
ISSN (online)1474-760X

Other styles