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
Smaglik P. Job insecurity. Nature. 2002 Oct 31;419(6910):3.
A journal article with 2 authors
Cho NW, Greenberg RA. DNA repair: Familiar ends with alternative endings. Nature. 2015 Feb 12;518(7538):174–6.
A journal article with 3 authors
Liu Y, Wang J, Zhang X. Accurate determination of the vapor-liquid-solid contact line tension and the viability of Young equation. Sci. Rep. 2013;3:2008.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Aravin AA, Sachidanandam R, Girard A, Fejes-Toth K, Hannon GJ. Developmentally regulated piRNA clusters implicate MILI in transposon control. Science. 2007 May 4;316(5825):744–7.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
AIChE Equipment Testing Procedure. Tray Distillation Columns. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 1987.
An edited book
Hart-Davis G. Beginning Microsoft Office 2010. Anglin S, Pundick D, Andres C, Beckner M, Buckingham E, Cornell G, et al., editors. Berkeley, CA: Apress; 2010.
A chapter in an edited book
Nikodem M. DSA Signature Scheme Immune to the Fault Cryptanalysis. In: Grimaud G, Standaert F-X, editors. Smart Card Research and Advanced Applications: 8th IFIP WG 8.8/11.2 International Conference, CARDIS 2008, London, UK, September 8-11, 2008. Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2008. p. 61–73.

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
Andrews R. Why Isn’t There A Real Life King Kong? IFLScience. IFLScience; 2017.


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. Federal Communications Commission: Review of the Commission’s Regulations Governing Attribution Ownership Rule. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1999 Oct. Report No.: OGC-00-1.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Do YK. Effects of informal care on caregivers’ labor market outcomes and health in South Korea [Doctoral dissertation]. [Chapel Hill, NC]: University of North Carolina; 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
Shpigel B. Season Over, the Rangers Are Left to Consider What Might Have Been. New York Times. 2017 May 10;B13.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Smaglik 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Cho and Greenberg 2015; Smaglik 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Cho and Greenberg 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Aravin et al. 2007)

About the journal

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

Other styles