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. Wine JJ. Medicine. Letting go of mucus. Science. 2014;345:730–1.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Kahl BC, Peters G. Microbiology. Mayhem in the lung. Science. 2007;315:1082–3.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Ledderose J, Dieter S, Schwarz MK. Maturation of postnatally generated olfactory bulb granule cells depends on functional γ-protocadherin expression. Sci Rep. 2013;3:1514.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Botella H, Blom H, Dorka M, Ahlberg PE, Janvier P. Jaws and teeth of the earliest bony fishes. Nature. 2007;448:583–6.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Shuttleworth WJ. Terrestrial Hydrometeorology. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2012.
An edited book
1. Mula M, editor. Neuropsychiatric Symptoms of Epilepsy. 1st ed. 2016. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Klawitter C. Making the Most of Your Undergraduate Experience. In: Hartel RW, Klawitter CP, editors. Careers in Food Science: From Undergraduate to Professional. New York, NY: Springer; 2008. p. 1–6.

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. O`Callaghan J. Why Do All Planetary Rings Follow This Elegant Mathematical Law? [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2015 [cited 2018 Oct 30]. Available from:


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. Mass Transit Grants: UMTA Needs to Increase Safety Focus at Local Transit Authority. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1989 Dec. Report No.: RCED-90-41.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Lansdon J. A policy analysis of California’s three strikes law of 1994 [Doctoral dissertation]. [Long Beach, CA]: California State University, Long Beach; 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. Stewart JB. Monkey Throwing Darts Loses a Faithful Disciple. New York Times. 2017 Jun 22;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 titleGenome Biology
ISSN (online)1474-760X

Other styles