How to format your references using the Physical Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Physical 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
Mills E 2005 Environment. The specter of fuel-based lighting Science 308 1263–4
A journal article with 2 authors
Jones P A and Takai D 2001 The role of DNA methylation in mammalian epigenetics Science 293 1068–70
A journal article with 3 authors
Szemenyei H, Hannon M and Long J A 2008 TOPLESS mediates auxin-dependent transcriptional repression during Arabidopsis embryogenesis Science 319 1384–6
A journal article with 99 or more authors
Gupta R A, Shah N, Wang K C, Kim J, Horlings H M, Wong D J, Tsai M-C, Hung T, Argani P, Rinn J L, Wang Y, Brzoska P, Kong B, Li R, West R B, van de Vijver M J, Sukumar S and Chang H Y 2010 Long non-coding RNA HOTAIR reprograms chromatin state to promote cancer metastasis Nature 464 1071–6

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Langton R 2006 Stability and Control of Aircraft Systems (Chichester, England: John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
An edited book
Chaudhuri P 2007 View-Dependent Character Animation ed P Kalra and S Banerjee (London: Springer)
A chapter in an edited book
Backlund P S and Yergey A L 2007 Mass Spectrometry for Studying Protein Modifications and for Discovery of Protein Interactions Protein Interactions: Biophysical Approaches for the Study of Complex Reversible Systems ed P Schuck (Boston, MA: Springer US) pp 143–67

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 Physical Biology.

Blog post
Davis J 2015 FDA Approves First 3D-Printed Drug IFLScience


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 1985 The Job Training Partnership Act: An Analysis of Support Cost Limits and Participant Characteristics (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
Mathes M D 2014 Exploring Factors That Enabled Financial Advisors and Their Firms to Improve Professional Performance After 2008 Doctoral dissertation (Scottsdale, AZ: Northcentral University)

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
Walsh M W 2013 In Detroit Ruling, Threats to Promises and Assumptions New York Times A24

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 titlePhysical Biology
AbbreviationPhys. Biol.
ISSN (print)1478-3967
ISSN (online)1478-3975
Cell Biology
Molecular Biology
Structural Biology

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