How to format your references using the Journal of Theoretical Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Journal of Theoretical 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
Grantham, J., 2012. Be persuasive. Be brave. Be arrested (if necessary). Nature 491, 303.
A journal article with 2 authors
Atkins, J.F., Gesteland, R.F., 2001. mRNA readout at 40. Nature 414, 693.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ninomiya, H., Elinson, R.P., Winklbauer, R., 2004. Antero-posterior tissue polarity links mesoderm convergent extension to axial patterning. Nature 430, 364–367.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Hurlstone, A.F.L., Haramis, A.-P.G., Wienholds, E., Begthel, H., Korving, J., Van Eeden, F., Cuppen, E., Zivkovic, D., Plasterk, R.H.A., Clevers, H., 2003. The Wnt/beta-catenin pathway regulates cardiac valve formation. Nature 425, 633–637.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Camarillo, G., García-Martín, M.A., 2005. The 3G IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Jansen, P.G.W., Roodt, G. (Eds.), 2015. Conceptualising and Measuring Work Identity: South-African Perspectives and Findings. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht.
A chapter in an edited book
Poels, G., Gailly, F., Maes, A., Paemeleire, R., 2005. Object Class or Association Class? Testing the User Effect on Cardinality Interpretation, in: Akoka, J., Liddle, S.W., Song, I.-Y., Bertolotto, M., Comyn-Wattiau, I., Heuvel, W.-J. van D., Kolp, M., Trujillo, J., Kop, C., Mayr, H.C. (Eds.), Perspectives in Conceptual Modeling: ER 2005 Workshops AOIS, BP-UML, CoMoGIS, ECOMO, and QoIS, Klagenfurt, Austria, October 24-28, 2005. Proceedings, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 33–42.

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 Theoretical Biology.

Blog post
Luntz, S., 2016. This Sarlacc-Like Creature Existed 520 Million Years Before Star Wars [WWW Document]. IFLScience. URL (accessed 10.30.18).


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, 1996. Measuring Performance: The Advanced Technology Program and Private-Sector Funding (No. RCED-96-47). U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Steinberg, J., 2015. The Social Construction of Beauty: Body Modification Examined Through the Lens of Social Learning Theory (Doctoral dissertation). Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, CA.

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
Rutenberg, J., Steel, E., Koblin, J., 2016. Kisses and Fear for the Women From Fox News. New York Times A1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Grantham, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Atkins and Gesteland, 2001; Grantham, 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Atkins and Gesteland, 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Hurlstone et al., 2003)

About the journal

Full journal titleJournal of Theoretical Biology
AbbreviationJ. Theor. Biol.
ISSN (print)0022-5193
ScopeGeneral Agricultural and Biological Sciences
General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
General Immunology and Microbiology
Applied Mathematics
Modelling and Simulation
Statistics and Probability
General Medicine

Other styles