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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for IET Systems 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
Lal, R.: ‘Soil carbon sequestration impacts on global climate change and food security’Science, 2004, 304, (5677), pp. 1623–1627.
A journal article with 2 authors
Neuman, Y., Cohen, Y.: ‘A vectorial semantics approach to personality assessment’Sci. Rep., 2014, 4, p. 4761.
A journal article with 3 authors
Pan, X., Liu, F., Zhang, M.: ‘Comment on “Productivity is a poor predictor of plant species richness”’Science, 2012, 335, (6075), pp. 1441; author reply 1441.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Stein, W.E., Mannolini, F., Hernick, L.V., Landing, E., Berry, C.M.: ‘Giant cladoxylopsid trees resolve the enigma of the Earth’s earliest forest stumps at Gilboa’Nature, 2007, 446, (7138), pp. 904–907.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chan, N.H., Wong, H.Y.: ‘Handbook of Financial Risk Management’ (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2013)
An edited book
Kurosu, M. (Ed.): ‘Human Centered Design: First International Conference, HCD 2009, Held as Part of HCI International 2009, San Diego, CA, USA, July 19-24, 2009 Proceedings’ (Springer, 2009)
A chapter in an edited book
Liu, J.: ‘Towards Network Autonomy’, in Wang, G.-Y., Peters, J.F., Skowron, A., Yao, Y. (Eds.): ‘Rough Sets and Knowledge Technology: First International Conference, RSKT 2006, Chongquing, China, July 24-26, 2006. Proceedings’ (Springer, 2006), pp. 32–32

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 Systems Biology.

Blog post
Carpineti, A.: ‘Nearby Stars Provides A Snapshot Of The Future Of Earth’,, 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: ‘Utilization of Consultants and Experts’ (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1970)

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Fresolone, C.: ‘The pedagogical use of Gerald Near’s “Chantworks”’. Doctoral dissertation, University of Arizona, 2012

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
Paulson, M.: ‘Michael Friedman, Co-Creator of “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,” Dies at 41’New York Times, 2017, p. B7.

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 Systems Biology
AbbreviationIET Syst. Biol.
ISSN (print)1751-8849
Cell Biology
Molecular Biology
Modelling and Simulation

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