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
Motani R. 2002. Scaling effects in caudal fin propulsion and the speed of ichthyosaurs. Nature. 415(6869):309–312.
A journal article with 2 authors
Andreasen R, Sharma M. 2009. Comment on “Neodymium-142 evidence for Hadean mafic crust.” Science. 325(5938):267; author reply 267.
A journal article with 3 authors
Gadsby DC, Vergani P, Csanády L. 2006. The ABC protein turned chloride channel whose failure causes cystic fibrosis. Nature. 440(7083):477–483.
A journal article with 12 or more authors
Kumar N, Attri P, Yadav DK, Choi J, Choi EH, Uhm HS. 2014. Induced apoptosis in melanocytes cancer cell and oxidation in biomolecules through deuterium oxide generated from atmospheric pressure non-thermal plasma jet. Sci Rep. 4:7589.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Oden JT. 2011. An Introduction to Mathematical Modeling. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Zhou Z-H, Li H, Yang Q, editors. 2007. Advances in Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining: 11th Pacific-Asia Conference, PAKDD 2007, Nanjing, China, May 22-25, 2007. Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Adams JP, Robinson RA, Dudek SM. 2008. Role of Action Potentials in Regulating Gene Transcription: Relevance to LTP. In: Dudek SM, editor. Transcriptional Regulation by Neuronal Activity: To the Nucleus and Back. Boston, MA: Springer US; p. 91–110.

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 E. 2017. Watch: Sea Lion Drags Girl Into Water In Richmond, BC. IFLScience.


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. 1999. Space Station: Status of Russian Involvement and Cost Control Efforts. 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
Meyer MA. 2014. Mitochondrial DNA Analysis of the Mediterranean Mussel, Mytilus galloprovincialis [Doctoral dissertation]. Edwardsville, IL: Southern Illinois 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
Eligon J, Cooper M. 2013. Blasts at Boston Marathon Kill 3 and Injure 100. New York Times.:A1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Motani 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Motani 2002; Andreasen & Sharma 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Andreasen & Sharma 2009)
  • Three or more authors: (Kumar 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