How to format your references using the Symbiosis citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Symbiosis. 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
Rubin EM (2008) Genomics of cellulosic biofuels. Nature 454:841–845
A journal article with 2 authors
Rinn J, Guttman M (2014) RNA Function. RNA and dynamic nuclear organization. Science 345:1240–1241
A journal article with 3 authors
Mollicone D, Eva HD, Achard F (2006) Ecology: human role in Russian wild fires. Nature 440:436–437
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Mack MC, Schuur EAG, Bret-Harte MS, et al (2004) Ecosystem carbon storage in arctic tundra reduced by long-term nutrient fertilization. Nature 431:440–443

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Heads G (2017) Living Mindfully. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK
An edited book
Hokstad P, Utne IB, Vatn J (eds) (2012) Risk and Interdependencies in Critical Infrastructures: A Guideline for Analysis. Springer, London
A chapter in an edited book
Yamabe H (2013) Influence of Water on the Interface Properties. In: Silva LFM da, Sato C (eds) Design of Adhesive Joints Under Humid Conditions. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 95–111

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 Symbiosis.

Blog post
Fang J (2014) How Many Eggs A Woman Has Reflects Her Heart Disease Risk. In: IFLScience. Accessed 30 Oct 2018


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 (1986) Digests of Unpublished Decisions of the Comptroller General of the United States, Vol. III, No. 2. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Cornelius J (2017) Five Minute Meditation Used to Impact Workplace Meetings. Doctoral dissertation, Pepperdine 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
Kenigsberg B (2017) Film Series. New York Times C20

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Rubin 2008).
This sentence cites two references (Rubin 2008; Rinn and Guttman 2014).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Rinn and Guttman 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Mack et al. 2004)

About the journal

Full journal titleSymbiosis
ISSN (print)0334-5114
ISSN (online)1878-7665
ScopeGeneral Agricultural and Biological Sciences

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