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
Smaglik P 2003 Eastern promises Nature 422 239
A journal article with 2 authors
Brovkin V and Claussen M 2008 Comment on “Climate-driven ecosystem succession in the Sahara: the past 6000 years” Science 322 1326; author reply 1326
A journal article with 3 authors
Yoo H I, Barsoum M W and El-Raghy T 2000 Ti3SiC2 has negligible thermopower Nature 407 581–2
A journal article with 99 or more authors
Vatankhah-Varnosfaderani M, Keith A N, Cong Y, Liang H, Rosenthal M, Sztucki M, Clair C, Magonov S, Ivanov D A, Dobrynin A V and Sheiko S S 2018 Chameleon-like elastomers with molecularly encoded strain-adaptive stiffening and coloration Science 359 1509–13

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Stewart R 2012 Plautus and Roman Slavery (Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd)
An edited book
McCready E, Yabushita K and Yoshimoto K 2014 Formal Approaches to Semantics and Pragmatics: Japanese and Beyond (Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands)
A chapter in an edited book
Bianchi G and Gianni L 2011 Pertuzumab – a HER-2 Dimerisation Inhibitor – for the Treatment of Breast and Other Cancers Drugs for HER-2-positive Breast Cancer ed M Sibilia, C C Zielinski, R Bartsch and T W Grunt (Basel: Springer) pp 73–90

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
Hale T 2016 Just One Teaspoon Of This Legal Drug Could Kill You 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 1998 Federal Documents in Languages Other Than English Published and Distributed in Calendar Years 1995-1997 (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
Liao X 2006 Creative Learning for Intelligent Robots Doctoral dissertation (Cincinnati, OH: University of Cincinnati)

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
Yee V and Schweber N 2015 Fleeting Stability for a Woman Charged With Killing Her Son New York Times A1

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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