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
Rubin, M.A.: ‘Health: Make precision medicine work for cancer care’Nature, 2015, 520, (7547), pp. 290–291.
A journal article with 2 authors
Attisano, L., Wrana, J.L.: ‘Signal transduction by the TGF-beta superfamily’Science, 2002, 296, (5573), pp. 1646–1647.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ahn, K.H., Lookman, T., Bishop, A.R.: ‘Strain-induced metal-insulator phase coexistence in perovskite manganites’Nature, 2004, 428, (6981), pp. 401–404.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Lee, G.-H., Kwon, S.J., Park, K.-S., et al.: ‘Germanium microflower-on-nanostem as a high-performance lithium ion battery electrode’Sci. Rep., 2014, 4, p. 6883.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Baker, H.K., Martin, G.S.: ‘Capital Structure and Corporate Financing Decisions’ (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2011)
An edited book
Barranger, J.A.: ‘Lysosomal Storage Disorders’ (Springer US, 2007)
A chapter in an edited book
Wang, Z.: ‘Study of System Intuition by Noetic Science Founded by QIAN Xuesen’, in Hu, B., Liu, J., Chen, L., Zhong, N. (Eds.): ‘Brain Informatics: International Conference, BI 2011, Lanzhou, China, September 7-9, 2011. Proceedings’ (Springer, 2011), pp. 28–28

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.: ‘Should Dying Patients Have The Right To Access Experimental Treatments?’, 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: ‘Federal Research: Challenges to Implementing the Advanced Technology Program’ (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1998)

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Quinn, L.: ‘The poetics of soul: Mythic narrative as creative elegy’. Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2013

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
Vecsey, G.: ‘After Long Hours, the Red Sox Keep a Slim Lead’New York Times, 2011, p. D7.

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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