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
Kalil, T. (2006). Planning for US science policy in 2009. Nature 443, 751–752.
A journal article with 2 authors
Zhou, W.-X., and Chen, K.-Q. (2014). Enhancement of thermoelectric performance by reducing phonon thermal conductance in multiple core-shell nanowires. Sci. Rep. 4, 7150.
A journal article with 3 authors
Smith, M. H., Ploegh, H. L., and Weissman, J. S. (2011). Road to ruin: targeting proteins for degradation in the endoplasmic reticulum. Science 334, 1086–1090.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Caraveo, P. A., De Luca, A., Mereghetti, S., Pellizzoni, A., and Bignami, G. F. (2004). Phase-resolved spectroscopy of Geminga shows rotating hot spot(s). Science 305, 376–379.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hunt-Ahmed, K. (2013). Contemporary Islamic Finance. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Buki, L. P., and Piedra, L. M. eds. (2011). Creating Infrastructures for Latino Mental Health. New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Balks, M. R., and Zabowski, D. (2016). “Soils of Forests,” in Celebrating Soil: Discovering Soils and Landscapes, ed. D. Zabowski (Cham: Springer International Publishing), 65–94.

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 Microbiology.

Blog post
Davis, J. (2016). Men Conceived Using IVF Have Increased Risk Of Fertility Problems. 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 (1982). Aviation Safety Hazards. 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
Leesombatpiboon, P. (2010). Thailand’s energy security: Strategic Petroleum Reserve and its economic impacts.

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
Baker, P., and Gordon, M. R. (2013). Kerry Becomes Chief Advocate For U.S. Attack. 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 (Kalil, 2006).
This sentence cites two references (Kalil, 2006; Zhou and Chen, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Zhou and Chen, 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Caraveo et al., 2004)

About the journal

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

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