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
Mellman, I.: ‘Setting logical priorities’Nature, 2001, 410, (6832), p. 1026.
A journal article with 2 authors
Richards, T.A., Cavalier-Smith, T.: ‘Myosin domain evolution and the primary divergence of eukaryotes’Nature, 2005, 436, (7054), pp. 1113–1118.
A journal article with 3 authors
Johnson, P.T.J., de Roode, J.C., Fenton, A.: ‘Why infectious disease research needs community ecology’Science, 2015, 349, (6252), p. 1259504.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Rassoulzadegan, M., Grandjean, V., Gounon, P., Vincent, S., Gillot, I., Cuzin, F.: ‘RNA-mediated non-mendelian inheritance of an epigenetic change in the mouse’Nature, 2006, 441, (7092), pp. 469–474.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Krings, A., Braham, R.R.: ‘Guide to Tendrillate Climbers of Costa Rican Mountains’ (Blackwell Publishing, 2008)
An edited book
Ouzzani, M.: ‘Semantic Web Services for Web Databases’ (Springer, 2011)
A chapter in an edited book
Kras, J.F.: ‘Perioperative Considerations of Do Not Resuscitate and Do Not Intubate Orders in Adult Patients’, in Jericho, B.G. (Ed.): ‘Ethical Issues in Anesthesiology and Surgery’ (Springer International Publishing, 2015), pp. 45–57

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
Evans, K.: ‘Recently Discovered “Casper” The Octopod Already At Risk From Deep-Sea Mining’,, 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: ‘Surface Transportation Programs: Proposals Highlight Key Issues and Challenges in Restructuring the Programs’ (U.S. Government Printing Office, 2008)

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
McDougal, S.: ‘Military Town: Part One’. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, 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
Walsh, M.W.: ‘The Illusion of Savings’New York Times, 2010, p. B1.

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

Other styles