How to format your references using the FEMS Microbiology Ecology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for FEMS Microbiology Ecology. 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
Lucey PG. Planetary science. A wet and volatile Mercury. Science 2013;339:282–3.
A journal article with 2 authors
Gompel N, Carroll SB. Genetic mechanisms and constraints governing the evolution of correlated traits in drosophilid flies. Nature 2003;424:931–5.
A journal article with 3 authors
Mansouri FA, Buckley MJ, Tanaka K. Mnemonic function of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in conflict-induced behavioral adjustment. Science 2007;318:987–90.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Yan J-J, Sun J-T, You Y-Z et al. Growing hyperbranched polymers using natural sunlight. Sci Rep 2013;3:2841.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Foote M, Hillier J, Mitchell-Wallace K et al. Natural Catastrophe Risk Management and Modelling. Oxford, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2017.
An edited book
Elstad E ed. Educational Technology and Polycontextual Bridging. Rotterdam: SensePublishers, 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
Chan K, Poernomo I. Consistent Metric Usage: From Design to Deployment. In: Eusgeld I, Freiling FC, Reussner R (eds.). Dependability Metrics: Advanced Lectures. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2008, 19–36.

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 FEMS Microbiology Ecology.

Blog post
Hamilton K. Food For Thought: Feeding Our Growing Population With Flies. IFLScience 2016.


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. U.S. Launch Enterprise: Acquisition Best Practices Can Benefit Future Efforts. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2014.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Lanigan LG. Effects of Two Cancer Genes, HTLV-1 Tax and E-Cadherin, on Cancer Development and Progression. 2012.

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
Walsh MW. Fierce Debt Puts Pensions at Risk In Puerto Rico. New York Times. November 27, 2012:A1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Lucey 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Gompel and Carroll 2003; Lucey 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Gompel and Carroll 2003)
  • Three authors: (Mansouri, Buckley and Tanaka 2007)
  • 4 or more authors: (Yan et al. 2013)

About the journal

Full journal titleFEMS Microbiology Ecology
AbbreviationFEMS Microbiol. Ecol.
ISSN (print)0168-6496
ISSN (online)1574-6941
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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