New author format for journal article references in Biophysical Journal

HI,

A research group asked for help with formatting references in Biophysical Journal (now published by Cell Press -

http://www.cell.com/biophysj/home). We have found a discrepancy between the Style Guide <http://download.cell.com/images/edimages/Biophys/Biophys_Styleguide.pdf> and actual bibliographies in the current issue http://www.cell.com/biophysj/current. I have emailed the publishers for clarification, but want to get your suggestions for this apparently new style.

The Style Guide, last updated 3/2010,  gives an example of formatting a journal article reference with more than 5 in a common way that can easily be accomplished by Endnote: include up to 5 author names, followed by et al. for more author names.

In contrast, papers in the current issue format multi-authored papers in a different way:  a reference with 4 or more authors includes first author, second author, “…,” last author.  A reference with three authors includes all three names.

Examples:

Del Conte-Zerial, P., Brusch, L., …, Deutsch, A.  2008. Membrane identity and GTPase cascades regulated by toggle and cut-out switches. Mol. Syst. Biol. 4:1–9.

Tyson, J. J., K. C. Chen, and B. Novak. 2003. Sniffers, buzzers, toggles and blinkers: dynamics of regulatory and signaling pathways in the cell. Curr. Opin. Cell Biol. 15:221–231.

Endnote output styles now have the option for eight or more authors, list first 6, followed by [some punctuation] and add last author. This is close but not quite there.

If we have to go with the “new” style, the only way I can think to format the bibliography in the current software is to create a style that formats up to three authors as required, includes all authors for papers with 4 or more authors. Then when the manuscript is ready for submission, convert the manuscript to text and manually edit the references with 4 or more authors.

Any other ideas would be appreciated.

Emily

Bet this will make the developers pull out their hair, if they have any left! 

It appears that someone got up one morning and said, how can we make this thing more difficult for our publishing scientists!   I also found these author instructions dated May 2011 and they make no mention of this new format.  http://download.cell.com/images/edimages/Biophys/Instructions_to_Authors.pdf  However, they don’t include any examples with more than 3 co-authors!

I suspect that they must have the software that will do the conversion, if that is what they are publishing. 

So I think you are right to have contacted the journal as what they are publishing doesn’t appear to match their instructions.  – and I would just follow the author instructions and ignore what you are seeing in the issue until you find out differently! 

“someone got up one morning and said…” My thoughts exactly!

Thanks for locating the newer version of their style guide. I will pass that on to the group.

Emily

Hello!

If it does turn out that the journal wants this format, thanks to APA 6th who pioneered this odd formatting, this is actually possible with EndNote X4 and X5. See the screenshot of the author settings from X5 attached.

I hope this helps!

Author settings.jpg

Not exactly like APA 6th…

Since X4 and X5 are hardwired to show the first 6 before the elipses?  You can’t adjust the number of authors showing before the elipses.    The description for this journal asks for only the first two?

“In contrast, papers in the current issue format multi-authored papers in a different way:  a reference with 4 or more authors includes first author, second author, “…,” last author.  A reference with three authors includes all three names.”

Ahh, you’re right, Leanne. I didn’t notice that the counts are different. This would be a good thing to put in our suggestions form, then, if it turns out they do require it.

http://endnote.com/ensuggest.asp

Thanks for that!

Gillian,

Thanks for proposing an output style option to specify number of beginning authors, followed by ellipses, then last author. The publisher replied that such a style is not necessary. However such an option would be interesting.

Here is the message I received from a Biophysical Journal publications assistant:

“We require that authors follow the Style Guide for authors when submitting their manuscripts. However, the Biophysical Journal has a 10.0 page limit that is very firm and in order to save space, the printer removes all authors from the references except for the first, second, and last.”

Emily

Unusual for them to print one thing, yet require another. Thanks for the clarification, though!