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
Yong, E. (2014). First response: race against time. Nature 510, S5.
A journal article with 2 authors
Valiela, I., and Fox, S. E. (2008). Ecology. Managing coastal wetlands. Science 319, 290–291.
A journal article with 3 authors
Aarts, H., Custers, R., and Marien, H. (2008). Preparing and motivating behavior outside of awareness. Science 319, 1639.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Lamming, D. W., Latorre-Esteves, M., Medvedik, O., Wong, S. N., Tsang, F. A., Wang, C., et al. (2005). HST2 mediates SIR2-independent life-span extension by calorie restriction. Science 309, 1861–1864.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Alberty, R. A. (2005). Thermodynamics of Biochemical Reactions. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Lieten, G. K. (2015). Child Street Life: An Inside View of Hazards and Expectations of Street Children in Peru. , ed. T. Strehl Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Postema, P. G., Christiaans, I., Hofman, N., Alders, M., Koopmann, T. T., Bezzina, C. R., et al. (2014). “Founder mutations in the Netherlands: familial idiopathic ventricular fibrillation and DPP6*,” in Founder mutations in inherited cardiac diseases in the Netherlands, eds. A. A. M. Wilde and J. P. van Tintelen (Houten: Bohn Stafleu van Loghum), 29–35.

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). Study Suggests Fish Oil Supplements Don’t Prevent Mental Decline. 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 (1990). FAA Procurement: Major Data-Processing Contract Should Not Be Awarded. 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
Jurica, M. L. (2012). Napping in the workplace as an invisible stigma: The moderating roles of raters’ nap habit, work ethic, and organizational policy.

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
Poniewozik, J., Lyons, M., Hale, M., and Genzlinger, N. (2017). The Mission: To Transcend Time and Space. New York Times, C2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Yong, 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Valiela and Fox, 2008; Yong, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Valiela and Fox, 2008)
  • Three or more authors: (Lamming et al., 2005)

About the journal

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

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