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
Centola, D. (2011). An experimental study of homophily in the adoption of health behavior. Science 334, 1269–1272.
A journal article with 2 authors
Miller, A. I., and Foote, M. (2009). Epicontinental seas versus open-ocean settings: the kinetics of mass extinction and origination. Science 326, 1106–1109.
A journal article with 3 authors
Sakurai, H., Daiko, T., and Hirao, T. (2003). A synthesis of sumanene, a fullerene fragment. Science 301, 1878.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Grantham, B. A., Chan, F., Nielsen, K. J., Fox, D. S., Barth, J. A., Huyer, A., et al. (2004). Upwelling-driven nearshore hypoxia signals ecosystem and oceanographic changes in the northeast Pacific. Nature 429, 749–754.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
de Gyurky, S. M. (2006). The Cognitive Dynamics of Computer Science. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Martín, J.-F., García-Estrada, C., and Zeilinger, S. eds. (2014). Biosynthesis and Molecular Genetics of Fungal Secondary Metabolites. New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Tanifuji, M., Sato, T., Uchida, G., Yamane, Y., and Tsunoda, K. (2010). “How Images of Objects Are Represented in Macaque Inferotemporal Cortex,” in Imaging the Brain with Optical Methods, ed. A. W. Roe (New York, NY: Springer), 93–117.

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
Davis, J. (2015). Impact Glass Detected On Mars Might Contain Organic Matter. 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 (1997). Federal Ships: Policy Changes in the Disposal of Surplus Ships. 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
Ware, S. C. (2014). Alcohol consumption and breast cancer risk in older women: A modifiable lifestyle risk factor.

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, C. (2013). Maybe Animals Just Need Quality Time With Friends. New York Times, A23B.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Centola, 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Miller and Foote, 2009; Centola, 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Miller and Foote, 2009)
  • Three or more authors: (Grantham et al., 2004)

About the journal

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

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