Skip to Main Content
Westminster College Logo

BIO 201 (General): Writing and Citing

Tools, resources, and tips for research projects in BIO 201

TriBeta/BIOS Instructions for Authors

  • Manuscript style:  Manuscripts should be word-processed using Microsoft Word, with minimal formatting. 
  • Use 12 point font for everything (do not use different sized fonts for headings or titles). 

  • Only the first letter of a title or heading (or a proper noun) should be capitalized. 

  • Begin with a Title; Author(s); Affiliations; short (running) head; “Correspondence to: e-mail”. 

  • Use the following order: Abstract; Introduction; Materials and Methods; Results; Discussion; Acknowledgments (if any); References; Figure Legends. 

  • Tables and Figures should be separate files – see for specific information. 

  • Metric units should be used unless impractical. 

  • Results and Discussion may be combined. 

  • The text should be in Standard American English and standard scientific nomenclature. 

  • New terms, abbreviations, and symbols must be defined at first occurrence. 

  • Because BIOS is a general biology journal, please include an introduction suitable for a broad audience; jargon and specific terminology should be defined for the benefit of the undergraduate reader. 

  • Footnotes are not used. 

  • All tables and figures must be referred to in the text. 

  • Citations:  Please use the “Cell” journal citation style for both in-text references (multiple references are alphabetized and not organized by year) and in the References section.  Do NOT italicize the journal volume number. 


CELL Citation Style







References should include only articles that are published or in press. For references to in press articles, please confirm with the cited journal that the article is in fact accepted and in press and include a DOI number and online publication date. Unpublished data, submitted manuscripts, abstracts, and personal communications should be cited within the text only. Personal communication should be documented by a letter of permission. Submitted articles should be cited as unpublished data, data not shown, or personal communication.

In-text citations should be written in Harvard style and not numbered, e.g., "Smith et al., 2015; Smith and Jones, 2015."

Please use the style shown below for references. Note that "et al." should only be used after ten authors.

Article in a periodical:
Sondheimer, N., and Lindquist, S. (2000). Rnq1: an epigenetic modifier of protein function in yeast. Mol. Cell 5, 163–172.

Article in a book:
King, S.M. (2003). Dynein motors: Structure, mechanochemistry and regulation. In Molecular Motors, M. Schliwa, ed. (Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH), pp. 45–78.

An entire book:
Cowan, W.M., Jessell, T.M., and Zipursky, S.L. (1997). Molecular and Cellular Approaches to Neural Development (New York: Oxford University Press).