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
Mellman I. Private lives: reflections and challenges in understanding the cell biology of the immune system. Science 2007;317:625–7.
A journal article with 2 authors
Lane N, Martin W. The energetics of genome complexity. Nature 2010;467:929–34.
A journal article with 3 authors
Millonig JH, Millen KJ, Hatten ME. The mouse Dreher gene Lmx1a controls formation of the roof plate in the vertebrate CNS. Nature 2000;403:764–9.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Wilkinson JJ, Stoffell B, Wilkinson CC et al. Anomalously metal-rich fluids form hydrothermal ore deposits. Science 2009;323:764–7.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Alexandridis AK, Zapranis AD. Wavelet Neural Networks. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2014.
An edited book
Rieber RW ed. Encyclopedia of the History of Psychological Theories. New York, NY: Springer US, 2012.
A chapter in an edited book
Bhasker J, Chadha R. Delay Calculation. In: Bhasker J (ed.). Static Timing Analysis for Nanometer Designs: A Practical Approach. Boston, MA: Springer US, 2009, 123–46.

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
Luntz S. Cat Takes Stand Against Mountain Lion. IFLScience 2015.


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. Army Training: Improvements Are Needed in 5-Ton Truck Driver Training and Supervision. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2001.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Lemheney AJ. Design and development of virtual reality simulation for teaching high-risk low-volume problem-prone office-based medical emergencies. 2014.

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
Murphy MJO. Beyond the Whimsy, Sushi With Ambition. New York Times. April 7, 2013:LI7.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Mellman 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Mellman 2007; Lane and Martin 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Lane and Martin 2010)
  • Three authors: (Millonig, Millen and Hatten 2000)
  • 4 or more authors: (Wilkinson 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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