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
Fuyuno, I., 2011. Japan: Will the sun set on Kampo? Nature 480, S96.
A journal article with 2 authors
Huybers, P., Curry, W., 2006. Links between annual, Milankovitch and continuum temperature variability. Nature 441, 329–332.
A journal article with 3 authors
Philips, J.A., Rubin, E.J., Perrimon, N., 2005. Drosophila RNAi screen reveals CD36 family member required for mycobacterial infection. Science 309, 1251–1253.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Holland, R.A., Thorup, K., Vonhof, M.J., Cochran, W.W., Wikelski, M., 2006. Navigation: bat orientation using Earth’s magnetic field. Nature 444, 702.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Landa, R., 2016. Advertising by Design. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Bini, R.R., Carpes, F.P. (Eds.), 2014. Biomechanics of Cycling. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Miller, L., Taha, L., Jensen, E., 2013. From Guidance to School Counseling: New Models in School Mental Health, in: Clauss-Ehlers, C.S., Serpell, Z.N., Weist, M.D. (Eds.), Handbook of Culturally Responsive School Mental Health: Advancing Research, Training, Practice, and Policy. Springer, New York, NY, pp. 43–56.

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. Wedge-Tailed Eagles Keep Attacking A Mining Company’s Drones [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, 2009. Federal Research: NASA Should Better Inform Researchers about How to Appeal Dissemination Decisions (No. GAO-10-200). 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
Yasami, S., 2015. Ultra-Low Power RFIC for Space/Medical/Mobile Applications (Doctoral dissertation). University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA.

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
Marx, L., 2013. Taking Their Very Sweet Time. New York Times ST14.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Fuyuno, 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Fuyuno, 2011; Huybers and Curry, 2006).

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

  • Two authors: (Huybers and Curry, 2006)
  • Three or more authors: (Holland et al., 2006)

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