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
Smaglik, P. (2004). The philanthropic principle. Nature 431, 719.
A journal article with 2 authors
Schwämmle, V., and Herrmann, H. J. (2003). Geomorphology: solitary wave behaviour of sand dunes. Nature 426, 619–620.
A journal article with 3 authors
Psaltis, D., Quake, S. R., and Yang, C. (2006). Developing optofluidic technology through the fusion of microfluidics and optics. Nature 442, 381–386.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Matloubian, M., Lo, C. G., Cinamon, G., Lesneski, M. J., Xu, Y., Brinkmann, V., et al. (2004). Lymphocyte egress from thymus and peripheral lymphoid organs is dependent on S1P receptor 1. Nature 427, 355–360.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
McBee, J. (2009). Mastering Microsoft® Exchange Server 2007 SP1. Indianapolis, IN, USA: Wiley Publishing, Inc.
An edited book
Shi, Z., Wu, Z., Leake, D., and Sattler, U. eds. (2014). Intelligent Information Processing VII: 8th IFIP TC 12 International Conference, IIP 2014, Hangzhou, China, October 17-20, 2014, Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Volkov, M., Cornejo, A., Lynch, N., and Rus, D. (2011). “Environment Characterization for Non-recontaminating Frontier-Based Robotic Exploration,” in Agents in Principle, Agents in Practice: 14th International Conference, PRIMA 2011, Wollongong, Australia, November 16-18, 2011. Proceedings Lecture Notes in Computer Science., eds. D. Kinny, J. Y.-J. Hsu, G. Governatori, and A. K. Ghose (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer), 19–35.

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
Luntz, S. (2015). Study Finds Majority Of Western Canada’s Glaciers Will Be Gone By 2100. 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 (2001). The High-Speed Rail Investment Act of 2001 (S. 250). 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
Armstrong-Romero, K. A. (2017). Cultural influences and the impact of workplace bullying.

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
Vecsey, G. (2011). A Miserable Month in the World of Sports. New York Times, SP9.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Smaglik, 2004).
This sentence cites two references (Schwämmle and Herrmann, 2003; Smaglik, 2004).

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

  • Two authors: (Schwämmle and Herrmann, 2003)
  • Three or more authors: (Matloubian et al., 2004)

About the journal

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

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