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
Bucksbaum PH. The future of attosecond spectroscopy. Science 2007; 317:766–9.
A journal article with 2 authors
Mettetal JT, van Oudenaarden A. Microbiology. Necessary noise. Science 2007; 317:463–4.
A journal article with 3 authors
Borgia G, Coyle BJ, Keagy J. Comment on “Illusions promote mating success in great bowerbirds.” Science 2012; 337:292; author reply 292.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Li D, Bi F-F, Chen N-N, Cao J-M, Sun W-P, Zhou Y-M, Li C-Y, Yang Q. A novel crosstalk between BRCA1 and sirtuin 1 in ovarian cancer. Sci Rep 2014; 4:6666.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Dorsey JR. Y-Size Your Business. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2009.
An edited book
van Roermund A. Smart AD and DA Conversion. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands; 2010.
A chapter in an edited book
Stefanoiu D, Ionescu F. Fuzzy-Statistical Reasoning in Fault Diagnosis. In: Palade V, Jain L, Bocaniala CD, editors. Computational Intelligence in Fault Diagnosis. London: Springer; 2006. page 125–77.

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
Andrew E. Newly discovered hand bone bridges important gap of human evolution [Internet]. IFLScience2013 [cited 2018 Oct 30]; Available from:


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. Comments on the Office of Personnel Management’s February 20, 2008 Report to Congress Regarding the Retirement Systems Modernization. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2008.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Ahn M. Student Perception of Language Achievement and Learner Autonomy in a Blended Korean Language Course: The Case Study of Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. 2017;

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
ROBERT KELLY; Robert Kelly is a poet who teaches literature, writing at Bard College. “I’D RATHER BE A GREAT BAD POET.” New York Times1990; :77.

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