How to format your references using the Open Network Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Open Network 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.
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
1. Glaeser E. Cities, productivity, and quality of life. Science. 2011;333:592–4.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Ratnieks FLW, Carreck NL. Ecology. Clarity on honey bee collapse? Science. 2010;327:152–3.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Wada S, Oishi M, Yamada TK. A newly discovered species of living baleen whale. Nature. 2003;426:278–81.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Zhu J, Huang B, Zhang R-H, Hu Z-Z, Kumar A, Balmaseda MA, et al. Salinity anomaly as a trigger for ENSO events. Sci Rep. 2014;4:6821.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Pickles J, Smith A, Begg R, Buček M, Roukova P, Pástor R. Articulations of Capital. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2015.
An edited book
1. Lange D, Chew B, editors. The Role of Bacteria in Urology. 1st ed. 2016. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Gore RM, Silvers R. Infectious, Inflammatory, and Ischemic Diseases of the Colon and Rectum. In: Hodler J, Schulthess GK von, Kubik-Huch RA, Zollikofer CL, editors. Diseases of the Abdomen and Pelvis 2014–2017: Diagnostic Imaging and Interventional Techniques. Milano: Springer; 2014. p. 38–46.

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 Open Network Biology.

Blog post
1. Andrew E. The Number Of Chimpanzees Used In Biomedical Research Is Declining. IFLScience. 2015.


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
1. Government Accountability Office. Traffic Congestion: Federal Efforts to Improve Mobility. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1989.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Doyle JJ. Under the influence: High risk social networks and recidivism. Doctoral dissertation. California State University, Long Beach; 2012.

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
1. Qiu L. Critiques of Proposal That Miss the Mark. New York Times. 2017;:A19.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [1].
This sentence cites two references [1, 2].
This sentence cites four references [1–4].

About the journal

Full journal titleOpen Network Biology
ISSN (print)2046-7826

Other styles