How to format your references using the Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Liechty, J. (2012). Scientists and bankers - a new model army. Nature 484, 143.
A journal article with 2 authors
Destexhe, A., and Marder, E. (2004). Plasticity in single neuron and circuit computations. Nature 431, 789–795.
A journal article with 3 authors
Milinski, M., Semmann, D., and Krambeck, H.-J. (2002). Reputation helps solve the “tragedy of the commons.” Nature 415, 424–426.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Oberdoerffer, S., Moita, L. F., Neems, D., Freitas, R. P., Hacohen, N., and Rao, A. (2008). Regulation of CD45 alternative splicing by heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein, hnRNPLL. Science 321, 686–691.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Šolín, P. (2005). Partial Differential Equations and the Finite Element Method. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Francois, E. J., Avoseh, M. B. M., and Griswold, W. eds. (2016). Perspectives in Transnational Higher Education. Rotterdam: SensePublishers.
A chapter in an edited book
Delina, L. L. (2011). “Mitigating Climate Change Via Clean Energy Financing: An Assessment of the Asian Development Bank’s Mitigation Efforts in Southeast Asia,” in The Economic, Social and Political Elements of Climate Change Climate Change Management., ed. W. Leal Filho (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer), 51–68.

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 Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology.

Blog post
Hamilton, K. (2017). Psychologist Reveals The 9 Most Common Dreams And What They Mean. IFLScience. Available at: [Accessed October 30, 2018].


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 (1978). BPA Management of ADP Systems Development Activities. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Quackenbush, C. M. (2010). The Imaginal Stone: Stories of self and world.

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
Kelly, M. (1992). THE 1992 CAMPAIGN: The Democrats; Clinton’s Staff Sees Campaign As a Real War. New York Times, A16.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Liechty, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Destexhe and Marder, 2004; Liechty, 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Destexhe and Marder, 2004)
  • Three or more authors: (Oberdoerffer et al., 2008)

About the journal

Full journal titleFrontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
AbbreviationFront. Cell Dev. Biol.
ISSN (online)2296-634X

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