How to format your references using the IET Synthetic Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for IET Synthetic 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
Azim, E.: ‘Neuroscience. Shortcuts and checkpoints on the road to skilled movement’Science, 2014, 346, (6209), pp. 554–555.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ward, L.D., Kellis, M.: ‘Response to comment on “Evidence of abundant purifying selection in humans for recently acquired regulatory functions”’Science, 2013, 340, (6133), p. 682.
A journal article with 3 authors
Baer, B., Armitage, S.A.O., Boomsma, J.J.: ‘Sperm storage induces an immunity cost in ants’Nature, 2006, 441, (7095), pp. 872–875.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Sandström, M., Jalilehvand, F., Persson, I., Gelius, U., Frank, P., Hall-Roth, I.: ‘Deterioration of the seventeenth-century warship Vasa by internal formation of sulphuric acid’Nature, 2002, 415, (6874), pp. 893–897.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Russell, D.L.: ‘Practical Wastewater Treatment’ (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2006)
An edited book
Greiner, W. (Ed.): ‘Exciting Interdisciplinary Physics: Quarks and Gluons / Atomic Nuclei / Relativity and Cosmology / Biological Systems’ (Springer International Publishing, 2013)
A chapter in an edited book
Bushey, J.: ‘Trustworthy Digital Images and the Cloud: Early Findings of the Records in the Cloud Project’, in Gathegi, J.N., Tonta, Y., Kurbanoğlu, S., Al, U., Taşkın, Z. (Eds.): ‘Challenges of Information Management Beyond the Cloud: 4th International Symposium on Information Management in a Changing World, IMCW 2013, Limerick, Ireland, September 4-6, 2013. Revised Selected Papers’ (Springer, 2014), pp. 43–53

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 IET Synthetic Biology.

Blog post
Andrew, E.: ‘Aerial Patrols Don’t See All The Sharks, But They’re Keeping People Safe’,, accessed October 2018


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
Government Accountability Office: ‘Issues and Anticipated Results’ (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1990)

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Bemmel, E.P.: ‘A cost -effectiveness analysis of two community college baccalaureate programs in Florida: An exploratory study’. Doctoral dissertation, Florida Atlantic University, 2008

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
Wagner, J.: ‘Tebow, Hitting .220, Receives a Promotion’New York Times, 2017, p. D2.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [2].
This sentence cites two references [2, 4].
This sentence cites four references [2, 4, 6, 8].

About the journal

Full journal titleIET Synthetic Biology
ISSN (print)1752-1394
Cell Biology
Molecular Biology

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