How to format your references using the Frontiers in Functional Plant Ecology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Frontiers in Functional Plant Ecology. 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
Hambley, T. W. (2007). Chemistry. Metal-based therapeutics. Science 318, 1392–1393.
A journal article with 2 authors
Glass, K., and Girvan, M. (2014). Annotation enrichment analysis: an alternative method for evaluating the functional properties of gene sets. Sci. Rep. 4, 4191.
A journal article with 3 authors
Aitkaliyeva, A., Chen, D., and Shao, L. (2013). Phonon transport assisted by inter-tube carbon displacements in carbon nanotube mats. Sci. Rep. 3, 2774.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Breyton, C., Haase, W., Rapoport, T. A., Kühlbrandt, W., and Collinson, I. (2002). Three-dimensional structure of the bacterial protein-translocation complex SecYEG. Nature 418, 662–665.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ghiani, G., Laporte, G., and Musmanno, R. (2013). Introduction to Logistics Systems Management. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Ahmed, I., and Chen, Z. (david) eds. (2015). Computational Electromagnetics—Retrospective and Outlook: In Honor of Wolfgang J.R. Hoefer. Singapore: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Tessicini, D. (2011). “Cornelius Gemma and the New Star of 1572,” in Change and Continuity in Early Modern Cosmology Archimedes., ed. P. J. Boner (Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands), 51–65.

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 Functional Plant Ecology.

Blog post
Andrews, R. (2016). New Superbug-Killing Antibiotic Found Hiding Inside Our Own Noses. 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 (2000). Maritime Industry: As U.S. Single-Hull Oil Vessels Are Eliminated, Few Double-Hull Vessels May Replace Them. 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
Runyan, T. E. (2017). A Machine Learning Approach to Quantifying Likely Locations of Gas and Gas Hydrate Accumulation.

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
Vecsey, G. (2009). Sympathy for the Umpires. New York Times, B17.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Hambley, 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Hambley, 2007; Glass and Girvan, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Glass and Girvan, 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Breyton et al., 2002)

About the journal

Full journal titleFrontiers in Functional Plant Ecology
AbbreviationFront. Plant Sci.
ISSN (online)1664-462X
ScopePlant Science

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