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
Biba, E., 2014. Protection: the sunscreen pill. Nature 515, S124-5.
A journal article with 2 authors
LaDeau, S.L., Clark, J.S., 2001. Rising CO2 levels and the fecundity of forest trees. Science 292, 95–98.
A journal article with 3 authors
Imai, T., Suzuki, M., Sakano, H., 2006. Odorant receptor-derived cAMP signals direct axonal targeting. Science 314, 657–661.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Dezawa, M., Ishikawa, H., Itokazu, Y., Yoshihara, T., Hoshino, M., Takeda, S.-I., Ide, C., Nabeshima, Y.-I., 2005. Bone marrow stromal cells generate muscle cells and repair muscle degeneration. Science 309, 314–317.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Çapin, T.K., Pandzic, I.S., Magnenat-Thalmann, N., Thalmann, D., 2001. Avatars in Networked Virtual Environments. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Marani, G., 2014. Introduction to Autonomous Manipulation: Case Study with an Underwater Robot, SAUVIM, Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Martens, P.N., Mistry, M., Ruhrberg, M., 2006. Prospects for a Sustainable Aluminum Industry, in: Gleich, A. von, Ayres, R.U., Gößling-Reisemann, S. (Eds.), Sustainable Metals Management: Securing Our Future - Steps Towards a Closed Loop Economy, Eco-Efficiency in Industry and Science. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp. 97–111.

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
Andrews, R., 2016. What Caused Oklahoma’s Powerful 5.6M Earthquake? [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, 2004. DOD Business Systems Modernization: Limited Progress in Development of Business Enterprise Architecture and Oversight of Information Technology Investments (No. GAO-04-731R). 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
Horaist, D.W., 2015. Estimating Seed Bank Responses to Changing Environmental Conditions in the Louisiana Coastal Zone (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
Haberman, M., Thrush, G., Schmidt, M.S., Baker, P., 2017. How Festering Anger at Comey Ended in Firing. 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 (Biba, 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Biba, 2014; LaDeau and Clark, 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (LaDeau and Clark, 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Dezawa et al., 2005)

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