How to format your references using the Theory in Biosciences citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Theory in Biosciences. 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
Fairley P (2011) Introduction: Next generation biofuels. Nature 474:S2-5
A journal article with 2 authors
Keinan A, Clark AG (2012) Recent explosive human population growth has resulted in an excess of rare genetic variants. Science 336:740–743
A journal article with 3 authors
Schall P, Weitz DA, Spaepen F (2007) Structural rearrangements that govern flow in colloidal glasses. Science 318:1895–1899
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Wager TD, Rilling JK, Smith EE, et al (2004) Placebo-induced changes in FMRI in the anticipation and experience of pain. Science 303:1162–1167

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Stein PD (2016) Pulmonary Embolism. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK
An edited book
Ben-Daya M, Duffuaa SO, Raouf A, et al (eds) (2009) Handbook of Maintenance Management and Engineering. Springer, London
A chapter in an edited book
Amiruzzaman M, Abdullah-Al-Wadud M, Chung Y (2010) An Analysis of Syndrome Coding. In: Bandyopadhyay SK, Adi W, Kim T-H, Xiao Y (eds) Information Security and Assurance: 4th International Conference, ISA 2010, Miyazaki, Japan, June 23-25, 2010. Proceedings. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 37–50

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 Theory in Biosciences.

Blog post
Hale T (2016) Archaeologists Discover Mayan Temple Has Two More Pyramids Inside It. 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 (1995) Inspectors General: Alleged Misconduct by NASA Inspector General. 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
Dale B (2012) Changing how we change: A case study of Escondido Union School District. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach

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
Schmidt MS (2017) Trump Denies Weighing Whether to Fire Mueller. New York Times A12

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Fairley 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Fairley 2011; Keinan and Clark 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Keinan and Clark 2012)
  • Three or more authors: (Wager et al. 2004)

About the journal

Full journal titleTheory in Biosciences
AbbreviationTheory Biosci.
ISSN (print)1431-7613
ISSN (online)1611-7530
ScopeEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Applied Mathematics
Statistics and Probability
General Medicine

Other styles