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
Bourzac K 2014 Diagnosis: Early warning system Nature 513 S4-6
A journal article with 2 authors
Maceyka M and Spiegel S 2014 Sphingolipid metabolites in inflammatory disease Nature 510 58–67
A journal article with 3 authors
Acuña J L, López-Urrutia Á and Colin S 2011 Faking giants: the evolution of high prey clearance rates in jellyfishes Science 333 1627–9
A journal article with 99 or more authors
Caro G, Bourdon B, Wood B J and Corgne A 2005 Trace-element fractionation in Hadean mantle generated by melt segregation from a magma ocean Nature 436 246–9

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Twomey B 2011 Inside the Currency Market (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)
An edited book
Montoya Sánchez de Pablo J 2016 How Green are Electric or Hydrogen-Powered Cars?: Assessing GHG Emissions of Traffic in Spain ed M Miravalles López and A Bret (Cham: Springer International Publishing)
A chapter in an edited book
Williams N, Prohasky D, Burry J, Crolla K, Leary M, Brandt M, Xie M and Seifi H 2015 Challenges of Scale Modelling Material Behaviour of Additive-Manufactured Nodes Modelling Behaviour: Design Modelling Symposium 2015 ed M R Thomsen, M Tamke, C Gengnagel, B Faircloth and F Scheurer (Cham: Springer International Publishing) pp 45–51

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
Taub B 2016 This Is What Your Brain Looks Like On Different Emotions 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 2013 Puerto Rico: Characteristics of the Island’s Maritime Trade and Potential Effects of Modifying the Jones Act (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
Otarola A C 2008 The effects of turbulence in an absorbing atmosphere on the propagation of microwave signals used in an active sounding system Doctoral dissertation (Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona)

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
Billard M 2010 Dress Like a Benefactor New York Times E5

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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