How to format your references using the Systems Biomedicine citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Systems Biomedicine. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Geha M. Galaxy formation: Gone with the wind? Nature 2010; 463:167–8.
A journal article with 2 authors
Rydelek PA, Tuttle M. Explosive craters and soil liquefaction. Nature 2004; 427:115–6.
A journal article with 3 authors
Staal M, Meysman FJR, Stal LJ. Temperature excludes N2-fixing heterocystous cyanobacteria in the tropical oceans. Nature 2003; 425:504–7.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Deschamps T, Margueritat J, Martinet C, Mermet A, Champagnon B. Elastic moduli of permanently densified silica glasses. Sci Rep 2014; 4:7193.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Schwartz P, Kempner M. 50 Great Myths of Human Sexuality. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2015.
An edited book
Thaler E, Kennedy DW, editors. Rhinosinusitis: A Guide for Diagnosis and Management. New York, NY: Springer; 2008.
A chapter in an edited book
Hazewinkel M, Gubareni N, Kirichenko VV. Right serial rings. In: Hazewinkel M, Gubareni N, Kirichenko VV, editors. Algebras, Rings and Modules. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands; 2007. page 219–53.

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 Biomedicine.

Blog post
O`Callaghan J. “Perfect Lens” Breakthrough Could Turn Your Smartphone Into An Ultra-Powerful Microscope. IFLScience2015;


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. Competition: Issues on Establishing and Using Federally Funded Research and Development Centers. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1988.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
O’Connor CS. Measurement of Dispersion and Attenuation in Granular Media using a Filter-Correlation Method. 2015;

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
Tommasini A. The Puppets Pull the Heartstrings in This Tale. New York Times2016; :C5.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in superscript:

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 titleSystems Biomedicine
AbbreviationSyst. Biomed. (Austin)
ISSN (print)2162-8130
ISSN (online)2162-8149

Other styles