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
Macrakis K 2009 Science and the Stasi Nature 461 594–5
A journal article with 2 authors
Spradling A C and Zheng Y 2007 Developmental biology. The mother of all stem cells? Science 315 469–70
A journal article with 3 authors
Schön J H, Kloc C and Batlogg B 2000 Superconductivity at 52 K in hole-doped C60 Nature 408 549–52
A journal article with 99 or more authors
Dawson M R, Marivaux L, Li C-K, Beard K C and Métais G 2006 Laonastes and the “Lazarus effect” in recent mammals Science 311 1456–8

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
French M, Szepesvári C and Rogers E 2005 Performance of Nonlinear Approximate Adaptive Controllers (Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd)
An edited book
Heywood D 2010 The Pedagogy of Physical Science vol 38, ed J Parker (Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands)
A chapter in an edited book
Gunderman R B 2012 Philosophical Considerations in Educational Assessment Radiology Education: The Evaluation and Assessment of Clinical Competence ed K M Hibbert, R K Chhem, T van Deven and S-C Wang (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer) pp 49–54

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
Andrews R 2017 China And EU Will “Join Forces” To Fight Climate Change Without America 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 1993 National Aero-Space Plane: A Need for Program Direction and Funding Decisions (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
Coleman J M 2012 Classroom management: Whose responsibility is it? Doctoral dissertation (Long Beach, CA: California State University, Long Beach)

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
St. John Kelly E 1999 As Cupid Sheathes Arrows, Voodoo Dolls Come Out New York Times 146

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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