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
Muddiman DC. 2011. Retrospective. John Bennett Fenn (1917-2010). Science. 331(6014):160.
A journal article with 2 authors
Fisher B, Costanza R. 2005. Environmental policy: regional commitment to reducing emissions. Nature. 438(7066):301–302.
A journal article with 3 authors
Sack L, Marañón T, Grubb PJ. 2002. Global allocation rules for patterns of biomass partitioning. Science. 296(5575):1923.
A journal article with 12 or more authors
Zuwei X, Ning Z, Yu S, Kunlan L. 2001. Reaction-controlled phase-transfer catalysis for propylene epoxidation to propylene oxide. Science. 292(5519):1139–1141.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Borchard-Tuch C, Groß M. 2005. Was Biotronik alles kann. Weinheim, FRG: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Grundel D, Murphey R, Pardalos P, Prokopyev O, editors. 2007. Cooperative Systems: Control and Optimization. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Saravacos G, Kostaropoulos AE. 2016. Mechanical Separation Equipment. In: Kostaropoulos AE, editor. Handbook of Food Processing Equipment. Cham: Springer International Publishing; p. 233–292.

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. 2015. Beaches Are Being Dyed Pink To Study Pollution. 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. 1992. Technology Transfer: Japanese Firms Involved in F-15 Coproduction and Civil Aircraft Programs. 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
Andrews M. 2014. Health literacy competencies for health professionals: A Delphi study [Doctoral dissertation]. Phoenix, AZ: University of Phoenix.

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 Winners Shift Gears: What Now? New York Times.:B3.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Muddiman 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Fisher and Costanza 2005; Muddiman 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Fisher and Costanza 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (Zuwei et al. 2001)

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