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
Sargent, W. (2004). Obituary: J. Beverley Oke (1928-2004). Nature 428, 483.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ewald, A. J., and Egeblad, M. (2014). Cancer: Sugar-coated cell signalling. Nature 511, 298–299.
A journal article with 3 authors
Phillips, N. R., Sprouse, M. L., and Roby, R. K. (2014). Simultaneous quantification of mitochondrial DNA copy number and deletion ratio: a multiplex real-time PCR assay. Sci. Rep. 4, 3887.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Du, X., Wen, J., Wang, Y., Karmaus, P. W. F., Khatamian, A., Tan, H., et al. (2018). Hippo/Mst signalling couples metabolic state and immune function of CD8α+ dendritic cells. Nature 558, 141–145.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Port, M. (2008). Beyond Booked Solid. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Dössel, O., and Schlegel, W. C. eds. (2009). World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, September 7 - 12, 2009, Munich, Germany: Vol. 25/5 Information and Communication in Medicine, Telemedicine and e-Health. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Ho, S.-B. (2014). “On Effective Causal Learning,” in Artificial General Intelligence: 7th International Conference, AGI 2014, Quebec City, QC, Canada, August 1-4, 2014. Proceedings Lecture Notes in Computer Science., eds. B. Goertzel, L. Orseau, and J. Snaider (Cham: Springer International Publishing), 43–52.

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
O`Callaghan, J. (2015). Mystery Of Saturn’s Weird Hexagon May Have Been Solved. 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 (1983). NASA-Ames Research Center Should Not Have Awarded Computational Services Contract to SBA and Technology Development of California. 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
Bartaula, B. (2017). Stand Level Growth and Survival Equations for Cutover Sites Loblolly Pine Plantations in the Mid-Gulf Region of Southern United States.

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, M. (1992). THE 1992 CAMPAIGN: The Democrats; Clinton Says Bush Is Afraid Of Debating “Man to Man.” New York Times, 16.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Sargent, 2004).
This sentence cites two references (Ewald and Egeblad, 2014; Sargent, 2004).

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

  • Two authors: (Ewald and Egeblad, 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Du et al., 2018)

About the journal

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

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