How to format your references using the International Journal of Biological Sciences citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for International Journal of Biological Sciences. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Standfuss J. Structural biology. Viral chemokine mimicry. Science. 2015 Mar 6;347(6226):1071–2.
A journal article with 2 authors
Vert G, Chory J. Downstream nuclear events in brassinosteroid signalling. Nature. 2006 May 4;441(7089):96–100.
A journal article with 3 authors
Saika-Voivod I, Poole PH, Sciortino F. Fragile-to-strong transition and polyamorphism in the energy landscape of liquid silica. Nature. 2001 Aug 2;412(6846):514–7.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Smith LT, Aragão LEOC, Sabel CE, Nakaya T. Drought impacts on children’s respiratory health in the Brazilian Amazon. Sci Rep. 2014 Jan 16;4:3726.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Aubry J-F, Brinzei N, Mazouni M-H. Systems Dependability Assessment. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2016.
An edited book
Nitto ED, Yahyapour R, editors. Towards a Service-Based Internet: Third European Conference, ServiceWave 2010, Ghent, Belgium, December 13-15, 2010. Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2010. XIV, 240 p. 84 illus. (Lecture Notes in Computer Science; vol. 6481).
A chapter in an edited book
Lenaerts T, Defaweux A. Solving Hierarchically Decomposable Problems with the Evolutionary Transition Algorithm. In: Chiong R, Dhakal S, editors. Natural Intelligence for Scheduling, Planning and Packing Problems. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2009. p. 111–43. (Kacprzyk J, editor. Studies in Computational Intelligence).

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 International Journal of Biological Sciences.

Blog post
Carpineti A. Close-Up Of Comet Shows Surface Changes In Its Approach To The Sun. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2015.


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. GPS: Actions Needed to Address Ground System Development Problems and User Equipment Production Readiness. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2015 Sep. Report No.: GAO-15-657.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Magnus JV. Female Police Officers: The Influence of a Masculine Culture [Doctoral dissertation]. [Scottsdale, AZ]: Northcentral University; 2017.

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
Wagner J. Mets Sign Six, Including deGrom, Harvey and Familia; Flores Waits for More. New York Times. 2017 Jan 14;D6.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (1).
This sentence cites two references (1,2).
This sentence cites four references (1–4).

About the journal

Full journal titleInternational Journal of Biological Sciences
AbbreviationInt. J. Biol. Sci.
ISSN (online)1449-2288
ScopeEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Cell Biology
Developmental Biology
Molecular Biology
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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