How to format your references using the Frontiers in Microbiology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Frontiers in Microbiology. 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
Petherick, A. (2015). Science masterclass. Nature 526, S49.
A journal article with 2 authors
Hegerl, G., and Stott, P. (2014). Atmospheric science. From past to future warming. Science 343, 844–845.
A journal article with 3 authors
Webber, B. L., Le Maitre, D. C., and Kriticos, D. J. (2012). Comment on “Climatic niche shifts are rare among terrestrial plant invaders.” Science 338, 193; author reply 193.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Johnston, R. J., Poholek, A. C., DiToro, D., Yusuf, I., Eto, D., Barnett, B., et al. (2009). Bcl6 and Blimp-1 are reciprocal and antagonistic regulators of T follicular helper cell differentiation. Science 325, 1006–1010.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Cofnas, A. (2011). Trading Binary Options. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Inter-American Development Bank (2016). Saving for Development: How Latin America and the Caribbean Can Save More and Better. , eds. E. Cavallo and T. Serebrisky New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan US.
A chapter in an edited book
Deng, Y. (2016). “The Expansion of Kant’s Republicanism with Active Citizenship,” in Citizenship and Immigration - Borders, Migration and Political Membership in a Global Age AMINTAPHIL: The Philosophical Foundations of Law and Justice., eds. A. E. Cudd and W.-C. Lee (Cham: Springer International Publishing), 59–69.

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 Microbiology.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2014). Can Magnetically Levitating Trains Run At 3,000km/h? 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 (1988). Securities Regulation: Hostile Corporate Takeovers: Synopses of Thirty-Two Attempts. 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
Lingley-Papadopoulos, C. A. (2008). Image analysis of Optical Coherence Tomography images of the urinary bladder for the recognition of bladder cancer.

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
Protess, B., and Stevenson, A. (2016). New Scrutiny for JPMorgan in China Hiring. New York Times, B1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Petherick, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Hegerl and Stott, 2014; Petherick, 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Hegerl and Stott, 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Johnston et al., 2009)

About the journal

Full journal titleFrontiers in Microbiology
AbbreviationFront. Microbiol.
ISSN (online)1664-302X
Microbiology (medical)

Other styles