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
Wolinetz CD. Implementing the new U.S. dual-use policy. Science. 2012 Jun 22;336(6088):1525–7.
A journal article with 2 authors
Clark CM, Tilman D. Loss of plant species after chronic low-level nitrogen deposition to prairie grasslands. Nature. 2008 Feb 7;451(7179):712–5.
A journal article with 3 authors
Royle SJ, Bright NA, Lagnado L. Clathrin is required for the function of the mitotic spindle. Nature. 2005 Apr 28;434(7037):1152–7.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Huang Y-H, Dass RI, Xing Z-L, Goodenough JB. Double perovskites as anode materials for solid-oxide fuel cells. Science. 2006 Apr 14;312(5771):254–7.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Douglas J, Noy EA. Building Surveys and Reports. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell; 2010.
An edited book
Gallotti M, Michael J, editors. Perspectives on Social Ontology and Social Cognition. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands; 2014.
A chapter in an edited book
Sha S, Jun L, Qinghua Z, Wei Z. Automatic Chinese Topic Term Spelling Correction in Online Pinyin Input. In: Park JJ, Jin H, Liao X, Zheng R, editors. Proceedings of the International Conference on Human-centric Computing 2011 and Embedded and Multimedia Computing 2011: HumanCom & EMC 2011. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands; 2011. p. 23–36.

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
Andrew E. Scientists Reveal How Our Circadian Clocks Are Reset. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2014.


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. Hazardous Materials Rail Shipments: A Review of Emergency Response Information in Selected Train Documents. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2016 Dec. Report No.: GAO-17-130.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Allen SD. Putting out fires: How communication professionals understand and practice conflict resolution [Doctoral dissertation]. [College Park, MD]: University of Maryland, College Park; 2014.

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
Cooper M, Walsh MW. Interest Adds Up to a $1.3 Billion Bill for States. New York Times. 2011 Jan 15;A1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Wolinetz 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Clark and Tilman 2008; Wolinetz 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Clark and Tilman 2008)
  • Three or more authors: (Huang et al. 2006)

About the journal

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

Other styles