How to format your references using the Integrative & Comparative Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Integrative & Comparative 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
Craik DJ. 2006. Chemistry. Seamless proteins tie up their loose ends. Science 311:1563–64.
A journal article with 2 authors
Hunt TL, Lipo CP. 2006. Late colonization of Easter Island. Science 311:1603–6.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kobayashi S, Goto-Yamamoto N, Hirochika H. 2004. Retrotransposon-induced mutations in grape skin color. Science 304:982.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Jiao Y, Wickett NJ, Ayyampalayam S, Chanderbali AS, Landherr L, Ralph PE, Tomsho LP, Hu Y, Liang H, Soltis PS, Soltis DE, Clifton SW, Schlarbaum SE, Schuster SC, Ma H, Leebens-Mack J, dePamphilis CW. 2011. Ancestral polyploidy in seed plants and angiosperms. Nature 473:97–100.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Fliszár S. 2008. Atomic Charges, Bond Properties, and Molecular Energies Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Allen M, Mayes RL, Rixen D (Eds.). 2016. Dynamics of Coupled Structures, Volume 4: Proceedings of the 34th IMAC, A Conference and Exposition on Structural Dynamics 2016, Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Gesche AH. 2006. Genetic Testing and Human Genetic Databases. In: Betta M, editor. The Moral, Social, and Commercial Imperatives of Genetic Testing and Screening: The Australian Case. International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands. p. 71–93.

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 Integrative & Comparative Biology.

Blog post
Fang J. 2015. Can Bacteria Help Save Bats From a Deadly Fungus?IFLScience. (


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. 2002. Customs Service Modernization: Third Expenditure Plan Meets Legislative Conditions, but Cost Estimating Improvements Needed ( No. GAO-02-908) Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Parker EC. 2010. Perceptions of youth with diabetes and their parents/guardians about youth eating habits and nutrition-related difficulties (Doctoral dissertation).

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
Dynarski S. 2015. To Gain a College Student, Eliminate a Form. New York Times BU6.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Craik 2006).
This sentence cites two references (Craik 2006; Hunt and Lipo 2006).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Hunt and Lipo 2006)
  • Three or more authors: (Jiao et al. 2011)

About the journal

Full journal titleIntegrative & Comparative Biology
AbbreviationIntegr. Comp. Biol.
ISSN (print)1540-7063
ISSN (online)1557-7023
ScopeAnimal Science and Zoology
Plant Science

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