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
Nittler LR. Astronomy. Nuclear fossils in stardust. Science. 2004 Jan 30;303(5658):636–7.
A journal article with 2 authors
Elbert T, Heim S. A light and a dark side. Nature. 2001 May 10;411(6834):139.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ochedowski O, Bussmann BK, Schleberger M. Graphene on mica - intercalated water trapped for life. Sci Rep. 2014 Aug 18;4:6003.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Kopp VI, Churikov VM, Singer J, Chao N, Neugroschl D, Genack AZ. Chiral fiber gratings. Science. 2004 Jul 2;305(5680):74–5.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Boussabaine A. Risk Pricing Strategies for Public-Private Partnerships Projects. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons; 2013.
An edited book
Balakrishnan R. A Textbook of Graph Theory. 2nd ed. 2012. Ranganathan K, editor. New York, NY: Springer; 2012. XIII, 292 p. 204 illus. (Universitext).
A chapter in an edited book
Rodríguez-Sánchez AJ, Piater J. Models of the Visual Cortex for Object Representation: Learning and Wired Approaches. In: Grandinetti L, Lippert T, Petkov N, editors. Brain-Inspired Computing: International Workshop, BrainComp 2013, Cetraro, Italy, July 8-11, 2013, Revised Selected Papers. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2014. p. 51–62. (Lecture Notes in Computer Science).

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
Andrew E. Cassini Probes Lakes On Titan [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2014 [cited 2018 Oct 30]. Available from:


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. Study of United States Government Wind Tunnels. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1954 Apr. Report No.: B-114825.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Annan F. Spatial pattern of yield distributions: implications for crop insurance [Doctoral dissertation]. [Mississippi State, MS]: Mississippi State University; 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
Joy S. Danger: Earrings Ahead! New York Times. 2013 Aug 29;E7.

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

Other styles