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
McKinney, J. C. (2012). Astronomy. Probing black hole gravity. Science 337, 916–917.
A journal article with 2 authors
Maheswaran, S., and Haber, D. A. (2015). Cell fate: Transition loses its invasive edge. Nature 527, 452–453.
A journal article with 3 authors
Wang, X., Chen, X., and Wang, L. (2014). Random allocation of pies promotes the evolution of fairness in the Ultimatum Game. Sci. Rep. 4, 4534.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Hirotsune, S., Yoshida, N., Chen, A., Garrett, L., Sugiyama, F., Takahashi, S., et al. (2003). An expressed pseudogene regulates the messenger-RNA stability of its homologous coding gene. Nature 423, 91–96.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Anderson, D. (2007). TKO Sales!. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Bauwens, L., Pohlmeier, W., and Veredas, D. eds. (2008). High Frequency Financial Econometrics: Recent Developments. Heidelberg: Physica-Verlag HD.
A chapter in an edited book
Haddad, S. A. P., and Serdijn, W. A. (2009). “Optimal State Space Descriptions,” in Ultra Low-Power Biomedical Signal Processing: An Analog Wavelet Filter Approach for Pacemakers, ed. W. A. Serdijn (Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands), 75–94.

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
Davis, J. (2015). Researchers Create A Computer That Works Using Water. 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 (2002). Federal Student Aid: Progress in Integrating Pell Grant and Direct Loan Systems and Processes, but Critical Work Remains. 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
Krishna, V. (2008). Exploring organizational commitment from an organizational perspective: Organizational learning as a determinant of affective commitment in Indian software firms.

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
Mashal, M. (2017). Head of ISIS Branch in Afghanistan Killed in April Raid. New York Times, A6.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (McKinney, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Maheswaran and Haber, 2015; McKinney, 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Maheswaran and Haber, 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Hirotsune et al., 2003)

About the journal

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

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