How to format your references using the Life Sciences, Society and Policy citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Life Sciences, Society and Policy. 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
Le Quéré C. Journal club. An oceanographer marvels at the good timing of shrimp. Nature. 2009 Oct 22;461(7267):1031.
A journal article with 2 authors
Nathanson N, Fine P. Virology. Poliomyelitis eradication--a dangerous endgame. Science. 2002 Apr 12;296(5566):269–70.
A journal article with 3 authors
Smothers JF, Henikoff S, Carter P. Tech.Sight. Phage display. Affinity selection from biological libraries. Science. 2002 Oct 18;298(5593):621–2.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Postberg F, Kempf S, Schmidt J, Brilliantov N, Beinsen A, Abel B, et al. Sodium salts in E-ring ice grains from an ocean below the surface of Enceladus. Nature. 2009 Jun 25;459(7250):1098–101.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Wiesmann U, Choi IS, Dombrowski E-M. Fundamentals of Biological Wastewater Treatment. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA; 2006.
An edited book
Erfurt-Cooper P, editor. Volcanic Tourist Destinations. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2014.
A chapter in an edited book
Delgado JMPQ, Barreira E, Ramos NMM, de Freitas VP. Application Examples. In: Barreira E, Ramos NMM, Freitas VP de, editors. Hygrothermal Numerical Simulation Tools Applied to Building Physics. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2013. p. 47–63.

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 Life Sciences, Society and Policy.

Blog post
Hale T. Sea Sponge Bacteria Pretty Much Produces Industrial Chemicals [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2017 [cited 2018 Oct 30]. Available from:


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. Comments on CRS Direct Loan Report. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1993 Apr. Report No.: HRD-93-20R.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Felsburg DF. The business of evangelism: A phenomenological study of frustration and attrition among Christian evangelists [Doctoral dissertation]. [Minneapolis, MN]: Capella University; 2008.

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
Pilon M. With Ban on Wrestling Between Boys and Girls, Diocese Faces a Crossroads. New York Times. 2014 Oct 2;B16.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Le Quéré 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Le Quéré 2009; Nathanson and Fine 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Nathanson and Fine 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Postberg et al. 2009)

About the journal

Full journal titleLife Sciences, Society and Policy
AbbreviationLife Sci. Soc. Policy
ISSN (online)2195-7819

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