How to format your references using the Frontiers in Life Science citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Frontiers in Life Science. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Goldston D. 2009. In which we say goodbye. Nature. 462(7269):25.
A journal article with 2 authors
Lahn BT, Ebenstein L. 2009. Let’s celebrate human genetic diversity. Nature. 461(7265):726–728.
A journal article with 3 authors
Clark TA, Sugnet CW, Ares M Jr. 2002. Genomewide analysis of mRNA processing in yeast using splicing-specific microarrays. Science. 296(5569):907–910.
A journal article with 12 or more authors
Sun Y, Liang Y, Hu J, Wang J, Wang D, Li X, Yan L. 2014. Reduction of intraarticular adhesion by topical application of colchicine following knee surgery in rabbits. Sci Rep. 4:6405.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Gabler J. 2010. Sociology for Dummies®. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing, Inc.
An edited book
Chen D. 2016. Growth and Characterization of Bulk Superconductor Material. Lin C, Maljuk A, Zhou F, editors. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Boroş T, Dumitrescu SD. 2013. Improving the RACAI Neural Network MSD Tagger. In: Iliadis L, Papadopoulos H, Jayne C, editors. Engineering Applications of Neural Networks: 14th International Conference, EANN 2013, Halkidiki, Greece, September 13-16, 2013 Proceedings, Part I. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; p. 42–51.

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 Life Science.

Blog post
Andrew D. 2011. Feeling Anxious About That First Date? Here’s How Science Can Help. IFLScience [Internet]. [accessed 2018 Oct 30].


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. 1974. Government’s Efforts To Standardize Data Elements and Codes for Computer Systems. 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
Castillo-Garrison EM. 2012. Asilomar Leadership Skills Seminar: The career preparation, advancement, and enhancement of women in California community college leadership [Doctoral dissertation]. Malibu, CA: Pepperdine University.

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
Kolomatsky M. 2017. A Surge in Sales to Foreign Buyers. New York Times.:RE2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Goldston 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Lahn and Ebenstein 2009; Goldston 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Lahn and Ebenstein 2009)
  • Three or more authors: (Sun et al. 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleFrontiers in Life Science
AbbreviationFront. Life Sci.
ISSN (print)2155-3769
ISSN (online)2155-3777
ScopeGeneral Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
General Neuroscience

Other styles