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
del Alamo, J.A.: ‘Nanometre-scale electronics with III-V compound semiconductors’Nature, 2011, 479, (7373), pp. 317–323.
A journal article with 2 authors
Stengel, M., Spaldin, N.A.: ‘Origin of the dielectric dead layer in nanoscale capacitors’Nature, 2006, 443, (7112), pp. 679–682.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kurin-Csörgei, K., Epstein, I.R., Orbán, M.: ‘Systematic design of chemical oscillators using complexation and precipitation equilibria’Nature, 2005, 433, (7022), pp. 139–142.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Kim, B.G., Kim, H.-J., Back, S., et al.: ‘Improved reversibility in lithium-oxygen battery: understanding elementary reactions and surface charge engineering of metal alloy catalyst’Sci. Rep., 2014, 4, p. 4225.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chateigner, D.: ‘Combined Analysis’ (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2013)
An edited book
Oja, S.S., Saransaari, P. (Eds.): ‘Taurine 6’ (Springer US, 2006)
A chapter in an edited book
Biswas, P., Langdon, P.: ‘Inclusive User Modeling and Simulation’, in Biswas, P., Duarte, C., Langdon, P., Almeida, L., Jung, C. (Eds.): ‘A Multimodal End-2-End Approach to Accessible Computing’ (Springer, 2013), pp. 71–89

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
Fang, J.: ‘A Single Kiss Can Transfer 80 Million Bacteria’, 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: ‘Reports Issued in June 1988’ (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1988)

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Brown, M.H.: ‘An Examination of Executive Function, Stress, and Adolescent Attachment to Caregivers in a Social Neuroscience Model Using the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD)’. Doctoral dissertation, George Washington University, 2014

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
Hodgman, J.: ‘Bonus Advice From Judge John Hodgman’New York Times, 2016, p. MM30.

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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