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
Erwin D. A call to the custodians of deep time. Nature 2009;462:282–3.
A journal article with 2 authors
Cruz M, Coontz R. Galaxy evolution. A universe of galaxies. Introduction. Science 2011;333:169.
A journal article with 3 authors
Seibel BA, Robison BH, Haddock SHD. Post-spawning egg care by a squid. Nature 2005;438:929.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Kopp RE, Simons FJ, Mitrovica JX et al. Probabilistic assessment of sea level during the last interglacial stage. Nature 2009;462:863–7.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hong G. Causality in a Social World. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2015.
An edited book
Aramaki M, Barthet M, Kronland-Martinet R et al. eds. From Sounds to Music and Emotions: 9th International Symposium, CMMR 2012, London, UK, June 19-22, 2012, Revised Selected Papers. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2013.
A chapter in an edited book
Vorugunti CS, Sarvabhatla M. A More Efficient and Secure Authentication Scheme over Insecure Networks Using Smart Cards. In: Thampi SM, Atrey PK, Fan C-I, et al. (eds.). Security in Computing and Communications: International Symposium, SSCC 2013, Mysore, India, August 22-24, 2013. Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2013, 42–51.

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
Andrew E. Superhydrophobic Material Developed That Makes Water Bounce Like A Ball. IFLScience 2014.


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. Transportation Infrastructure: Panelists’ Remarks at New Directions in Surface Transportation Seminar. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1989.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Piekielek JA. Public wildlands at the U.S.-Mexico border: Where conservation, migration, and border enforcement collide. 2009.

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
Greenhouse L. Supreme Court to Determine Fate of Business Tax Credits. New York Times. September 28, 2005:C3.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Erwin 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Erwin 2009; Cruz and Coontz 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Cruz and Coontz 2011)
  • Three authors: (Seibel, Robison and Haddock 2005)
  • 4 or more authors: (Kopp et al. 2009)

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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