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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Journal of Biological Education. 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
Mastalerz, Michael. 2015. “Materials Chemistry: Liquefied Molecular Holes.” Nature 527 (7577): 174–176.
A journal article with 2 authors
Roe, Gerard H., and Marcia B. Baker. 2007. “Why Is Climate Sensitivity so Unpredictable?” Science (New York, N.Y.) 318 (5850): 629–632.
A journal article with 3 authors
Marchevsky, M., M. J. Higgins, and S. Bhattacharya. 2001. “Two Coexisting Vortex Phases in the Peak Effect Regime in a Superconductor.” Nature 409 (6820): 591–594.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Palatnik, Javier F., Edwards Allen, Xuelin Wu, Carla Schommer, Rebecca Schwab, James C. Carrington, and Detlef Weigel. 2003. “Control of Leaf Morphogenesis by MicroRNAs.” Nature 425 (6955): 257–263.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hahn, Gerald J., and Necip Doganaksoy. 2011. A Career in Statistics. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Müller, Jörg P., Michael Weyrich, and Ana L. C. Bazzan, eds. 2014. Multiagent System Technologies: 12th German Conference, MATES 2014, Stuttgart, Germany, September 23-25, 2014. Proceedings. Vol. 8732. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Rauchecker, Gerhard, Emrah Yasasin, and Guido Schryen. 2014. “A Decision Support System for IT Security Incident Management.” In Trust, Privacy, and Security in Digital Business: 11th International Conference, TrustBus 2014, Munich, Germany, September 2-3, 2014. Proceedings, edited by Claudia Eckert, Sokratis K. Katsikas, and Günther Pernul, 36–47. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

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 Journal of Biological Education.

Blog post
Andrew, Elise. 2015. “The Scariest Part Of Climate Change Isn’t What We Know, But What We Don’t.” IFLScience. 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. 1992. Guaranteed Student Loans: Eliminating Interest Rate Floors Could Generate Substantial Savings. HRD-92-113. 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
Ellerbrook, Sharon Lynn. 2009. “Exploring the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Teacher Selection Tools: The Effects on the Total Group with a Focus on the Gender Sub-Groups.” Doctoral dissertation, St. Charles, MO: Lindenwood University.

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
Witz, Billy, and Mary Pilon. 2014. “Stars’ Newest Must-Have Item: The Clippers.” New York Times, April 30.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Mastalerz 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Mastalerz 2015; Roe and Baker 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Roe and Baker 2007)
  • Three authors: (Marchevsky, Higgins, and Bhattacharya 2001)
  • 4 or more authors: (Palatnik et al. 2003)

About the journal

Full journal titleJournal of Biological Education
AbbreviationJ. Biol. Educ.
ISSN (print)0021-9266
ISSN (online)2157-6009
ScopeGeneral Agricultural and Biological Sciences

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