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
Baker, V. R. (2002). Earth sciences. The study of superfloods. Science 295, 2379–2380.
A journal article with 2 authors
Heldwein, E. E., and Brennan, R. G. (2001). Crystal structure of the transcription activator BmrR bound to DNA and a drug. Nature 409, 378–382.
A journal article with 3 authors
Collins, P. G., Arnold, M. S., and Avouris, P. (2001). Engineering carbon nanotubes and nanotube circuits using electrical breakdown. Science 292, 706–709.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Donnelley, M., Morgan, K. S., Siu, K. K. W., Farrow, N. R., Stahr, C. S., Boucher, R. C., et al. (2014). Non-invasive airway health assessment: synchrotron imaging reveals effects of rehydrating treatments on mucociliary transit in-vivo. Sci. Rep. 4, 3689.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Sailor, W. (2009). Making RTI Work. San Francisco, CA, USA: Jossey-Bass.
An edited book
Barr, S., and Luedecke, C. eds. (2010). The History of the International Polar Years (IPYs). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Michl, S. (2015). “The Epistemics of ‘Personalized Medicine’. Rebranding Pharmacogenetics,” in Individualized Medicine: Ethical, Economical and Historical Perspectives Advances in Predictive, Preventive and Personalised Medicine., eds. T. Fischer, M. Langanke, P. Marschall, and S. Michl (Cham: Springer International Publishing), 61–78.

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. (2017). Attractive Scientists Are Deemed More Interesting But Less Competent By The Public. 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 (2015). Air Travel and Communicable Diseases: Comprehensive Federal Plan Needed for U.S. Aviation System’s Preparedness. 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
Hill - Carter, C. N. (2010). Effects of teacher mentoring on teacher retention.

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
Woideck, G. (2016). Buddha Provides Tap Shoes. New York Times, A14.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Baker, 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Heldwein and Brennan, 2001; Baker, 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Heldwein and Brennan, 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Donnelley et al., 2014)

About the journal

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

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