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. Leggett AJ. Quantum liquids. Science. 2008;319:1203–5.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Dubrulle J, Pourquié O. fgf8 mRNA decay establishes a gradient that couples axial elongation to patterning in the vertebrate embryo. Nature. 2004;427:419–22.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Morran LT, Parmenter MD, Phillips PC. Mutation load and rapid adaptation favour outcrossing over self-fertilization. Nature. 2009;462:350–2.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Alvarez JI, Dodelet-Devillers A, Kebir H, Ifergan I, Fabre PJ, Terouz S, et al. The Hedgehog pathway promotes blood-brain barrier integrity and CNS immune quiescence. Science. 2011;334:1727–31.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Saleh AKME, Arashi M, Tabatabaey SMM. Statistical Inference for Models with Multivariate t -Distributed Errors. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2014.
An edited book
1. Keith M. Pro JPA 2. Second Edition. Berkeley, CA: Apress; 2013.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Cheng LP, Toh TL. Mathematical Problem-Solving Using Real-World Problems. In: Cho YH, Caleon IS, Kapur M, editors. Authentic Problem Solving and Learning in the 21st Century: Perspectives from Singapore and Beyond. Singapore: Springer; 2015. p. 57–71.

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. We Could Have Lasers More Powerful Than Exploding Stars In Just 5 Years. 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. Federal Assistance System Should Be Changed To Permit Greater Involvement by State Legislatures. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1980.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Ho T. The influence of physical activity and unsafe neighborhoods on the development of gestational diabetes among women in California. 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. Shpigel B. Return to Health Fuels Cruz, and Giants Fans. New York Times. 2016;:SP10.

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