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
Macilwain C (2000) Bell Labs win superconductivity patent. Nature 403:121–122
A journal article with 2 authors
Gorlach S, Slabicki M (2004) Scientists and societies. The Polish biotech gap. Nature 427:870
A journal article with 3 authors
Qian L, Winfree E, Bruck J (2011) Neural network computation with DNA strand displacement cascades. Nature 475:368–372
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Kimura H, Goto J, Yasuda S, et al (2013) The infinite possible growth ambients that support single-wall carbon nanotube forest growth. Sci Rep 3:3334

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Grose M (2016) Construction Law in the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK
An edited book
Harrod RP (2014) Bioarchaeology of Climate Change and Violence: Ethical Considerations. Springer, New York, NY
A chapter in an edited book
Ma H, Oxley L (2012) Data Description. In: Oxley L (ed) China’s Energy Economy: Situation, Reforms, Behavior, and Energy Intensity. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 101–124

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
Luntz S (2016) Firefly Gene Lights Path To HIV Protection In Women. 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 (1998) [Comments on the Federal Communications Commission’s Implementation of Section 254(h) of the Communications Act of 1934]. 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
Risley L (2012) Exploring Congruency between John A. Henschke’s Practice and Scholarship. Doctoral dissertation, Lindenwood 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
Kelly M (1993) CLINTON’S ECONOMIC PLAN: The Campaign; Gambling That a Tax-Cut Promise Was Not Taken Seriously. New York Times A16

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Macilwain 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Macilwain 2000; Gorlach and Slabicki 2004).

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

  • Two authors: (Gorlach and Slabicki 2004)
  • Three or more authors: (Kimura et al. 2013)

About the journal

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

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