How to format your references using the PLOS Biology citation style
This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for PLOS 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:
|Paperpile||The citation style is built in and you can choose it in Settings > Citation Style or Paperpile > Citation Style in Google Docs.|
|EndNote||Find the style here: output styles overview|
|Mendeley, Zotero, Papers, and others||The style is either built in or you can download a CSL file that is supported by most references management programs.|
|BibTeX||BibTeX syles are usually part of a LaTeX template. Check the instructions to authors if the publisher offers a LaTeX template for this journal.|
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.
Books and book chapters
Here are examples of references for authored and edited books as well as book chapters.
Sometimes references to web sites should appear directly in the text rather than in the bibliography. Refer to the Instructions to authors for PLOS Biology.
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".
Theses and dissertations
Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.
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.
References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:
This sentence cites two references [1,2].
This sentence cites four references [1–4].
About the journal
|Full journal title||PLOS Biology|
|Scope||General Agricultural and Biological Sciences|
General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
General Immunology and Microbiology