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
Slavin, J. A. (2012). Planetary science. A dynamic twist in the tail. Science 336, 548–549.
A journal article with 2 authors
Yao, Z., and Shafer, O. T. (2014). The Drosophila circadian clock is a variably coupled network of multiple peptidergic units. Science 343, 1516–1520.
A journal article with 3 authors
Jiang, Y., Kirmizialtin, S., and Sanchez, I. C. (2014). Dynamic void distribution in myoglobin and five mutants. Sci. Rep. 4, 4011.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Conley, D. J., Paerl, H. W., Howarth, R. W., Boesch, D. F., Seitzinger, S. P., Havens, K. E., et al. (2009). Ecology. Controlling eutrophication: nitrogen and phosphorus. Science 323, 1014–1015.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Kivy, P. (2011). Once-Told Tales. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
An edited book
Hickman, H., and Porfilio, B. J. eds. (2012). The New Politics of the Textbook: Critical Analysis in the Core Content Areas. Rotterdam: SensePublishers.
A chapter in an edited book
Mosteller, F. (2010). “The Safety of Anesthetics: The National Halothane Study,” in The Pleasures of Statistics: The Autobiography of Frederick Mosteller, eds. S. E. Fienberg, D. C. Hoaglin, and J. M. Tanur (New York, NY: Springer), 69–88.

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
Andrew, E. (2015). Mining Conquistadors Caused Air Pollution 200 Years Before The Industrial Revolution. IFLScience.


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 (1977). Energy Research and Development Administration’s Accounting System for Accounts Receivable. 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
Bailey, C. N. (2015). The influence of gardens on resilience in older adults living in a continuing care community.

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
Grynbaum, M. M., and Steel, E. (2017). Fox News, Pledging New Culture, Ousts Another Symbol of Old One. New York Times, A1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Slavin, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Slavin, 2012; Yao and Shafer, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Yao and Shafer, 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Conley et al., 2009)

About the journal

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

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