How to format your references using the Molecular Systems Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Molecular Systems 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
Abbott A (2003) Neuroscience: genomics on the brain. Nature 426: 757
A journal article with 2 authors
Regev A & Shapiro E (2002) Cells as computation. Nature 419: 343
A journal article with 3 authors
Yohe G, Andronova N & Schlesinger M (2004) Climate. To hedge or not against an uncertain climate future? Science 306: 416–417
A journal article with 21 or more authors
Galindo MI, Bishop SA, Greig S & Couso JP (2002) Leg patterning driven by proximal-distal interactions and EGFR signaling. Science 297: 256–259

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Numai T (2010) Laser Diodes and their Applications to Communications and Information Processing Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Ambrus M & Wessel RA eds. (2015) Netherlands Yearbook of International Law 2014: Between Pragmatism and Predictability: Temporariness in International Law The Hague: T.M.C. Asser Press
A chapter in an edited book
Wasserman T & Wasserman LD (2016) The Effect of Learning on the Development of the Connectome. In Depathologizing Psychopathology: The Neuroscience of Mental Illness and Its Treatment, Wasserman LD (ed) pp 33–44. Cham: Springer International Publishing

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 Molecular Systems Biology.

Blog post
O`Callaghan J (2015) Strange ‘Haze’ Spotted On Ceres Suggests Those Bright Spots Are Actually Made Of Ice. IFLScience

Reports

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 (2000) Information Technology: VA Actions Needed to Implement Critical Reforms Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
DeMoss MD (2010) Mapping the issues: A content analysis of elementary and secondary education news stories from 1968 to 2008 on television networks.

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
Feeney K (2009) Their Daily Flatbread. New York Times: NJ12

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Abbott, 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Abbott, 2003; Regev & Shapiro, 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Regev & Shapiro, 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Galindo et al, 2002)

About the journal

Full journal titleMolecular Systems Biology
AbbreviationMol. Syst. Biol.
ISSN (online)1744-4292
ScopeGeneral Agricultural and Biological Sciences
General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Computational Theory and Mathematics
Information Systems
General Immunology and Microbiology
Applied Mathematics

Other styles