How to format your references using the Systems and Synthetic Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Systems and Synthetic 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
McGowan K (2011) Masterclass: The gathering brainstorm. Nature 478:S19-20
A journal article with 2 authors
Singla V, Reiter JF (2006) The primary cilium as the cell’s antenna: signaling at a sensory organelle. Science 313:629–633
A journal article with 3 authors
Séguin B, Singer PA, Daar AS (2006) Science community: scientific diasporas. Science 312:1602–1603
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Hublin J-J, Ben-Ncer A, Bailey SE, et al (2018) Author Correction: New fossils from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco and the pan-African origin of Homo sapiens. Nature 558:E6

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Dowd K (2005) Measuring Market Risk. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Oxford, UK
An edited book
Bostan B (ed) (2016) Gamer Psychology and Behavior. Springer International Publishing, Cham
A chapter in an edited book
Rajamani SK (2009) Verification, Testing and Statistics. In: Cavalcanti A, Dams DR (eds) FM 2009: Formal Methods: Second World Congress, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, November 2-6, 2009. Proceedings. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 33–40

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 Systems and Synthetic Biology.

Blog post
Evans K (2016) New Protection For Rosewood, The World’s Most Trafficked Wild Item. In: IFLScience. Accessed 30 Oct 2018

Reports

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 (1994) SSA Services to Employers. 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
Chaisson C (2014) An Investigation of Lower Wilcox Group Coals in Portions of Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, Lasalle, and Rapides Parishes, Louisiana. Doctoral dissertation, University of Louisiana

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
Hahamovitch C (2013) The Lessons of Belle Glade. New York Times A25

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (McGowan 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Singla and Reiter 2006; McGowan 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Singla and Reiter 2006)
  • Three or more authors: (Hublin et al. 2018)

About the journal

Full journal titleSystems and Synthetic Biology
AbbreviationSyst. Synth. Biol.
ISSN (print)1872-5325
ISSN (online)1872-5333
ScopeBiotechnology
Molecular Biology
Bioengineering

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