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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for FEMS Microbiology Letters. 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
Murphy CJ. Materials science. Nanocubes and nanoboxes. Science 2002;298:2139–41.
A journal article with 2 authors
Sine SM, Engel AG. Recent advances in Cys-loop receptor structure and function. Nature 2006;440:448–55.
A journal article with 3 authors
Hsiang SM, Meng KC, Cane MA. Civil conflicts are associated with the global climate. Nature 2011;476:438–41.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Zhang X-W, Yan X-J, Zhou Z-R et al. Arsenic trioxide controls the fate of the PML-RARalpha oncoprotein by directly binding PML. Science 2010;328:240–3.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lesca H, Lesca N. Strategic Decisions and Weak Signals. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2014.
An edited book
Crescenzi R. Innovation and Regional Growth in the European Union. Rodríguez-Pose A (ed.). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2011.
A chapter in an edited book
Mobilio S. Introduction to Matter Radiation Interaction. In: Mobilio S, Boscherini F, Meneghini C (eds.). Synchrotron Radiation: Basics, Methods and Applications. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2015, 107–43.

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 Letters.

Blog post
Hale T. See Inside A Hyperloop Pod For The First Time. 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. Electronic Health Records: HHS Strategy to Address Information Exchange Challenges Lacks Specific Prioritized Actions and Milestones. 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
Jobanputra MC. Investigation of Organic Thin Films for Application in Electro-optic Devices. 2002.

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
Poniewozik J. It’s That ’80s Show. New York Times. October 10, 2017:C6.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Murphy 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Murphy 2002; Sine and Engel 2006).

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

  • Two authors: (Sine and Engel 2006)
  • Three authors: (Hsiang, Meng and Cane 2011)
  • 4 or more authors: (Zhang et al. 2010)

About the journal

Full journal titleFEMS Microbiology Letters
AbbreviationFEMS Microbiol. Lett.
ISSN (print)0378-1097
ISSN (online)1574-6968
Molecular Biology

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