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
Carmichael, Mary. 2013. “Drug Safety: Double Jeopardy.” Nature 498 (7455): S14-5.
A journal article with 2 authors
Cooper, Brenton G., and Franz Goller. 2004. “Multimodal Signals: Enhancement and Constraint of Song Motor Patterns by Visual Display.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 303 (5657): 544–546.
A journal article with 3 authors
Johnson, Dominic D. P., Pavel Stopka, and Stephen Knights. 2003. “Sociology: The Puzzle of Human Cooperation.” Nature 421 (6926): 911–912; discussion 912.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
McVean, Gilean A. T., Simon R. Myers, Sarah Hunt, Panos Deloukas, David R. Bentley, and Peter Donnelly. 2004. “The Fine-Scale Structure of Recombination Rate Variation in the Human Genome.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 304 (5670): 581–584.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Sapienza, Alice M. 2004. Managing Scientists. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Forth, Shaun, Paul Hovland, Eric Phipps, Jean Utke, and Andrea Walther, eds. 2012. Recent Advances in Algorithmic Differentiation. Vol. 87. Lecture Notes in Computational Science and Engineering. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Tonsberg, Terje Andreas, and Jeffrey Shawn Henderson. 2016. “The Universality of Praxeology.” In Understanding Leadership in Complex Systems: A Praxeological Perspective, edited by Jeffrey Shawn Henderson, 9–12. Understanding Complex Systems. 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
Taub, Ben. 2016. “Medical Marijuana Laws Lead To Decrease In Opioid Painkiller Use.” 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. 1983. Opportunities for Improving the Management of DOD Computer Systems. 121729. 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
Bleviss, Carmi. 2009. “Constructing Competence: Normalization and Self-Determination for People with Developmental Disabilities.” Doctoral dissertation, Long Beach, CA: California State University, Long Beach.

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
Powell, Michael. 2017. “You’re No. 1 (2, 3, 4, 5, 6 ... ).” New York Times, April 27.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Carmichael 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Carmichael 2013; Cooper and Goller 2004).

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

  • Two authors: (Cooper and Goller 2004)
  • Three authors: (Johnson, Stopka, and Knights 2003)
  • 4 or more authors: (McVean et al. 2004)

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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