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
Hoag, H. (2003). BSE case rattles Canadian officials. Nature 423, 467.
A journal article with 2 authors
Lord, K. M., and Turekian, V. C. (2007). Science and society. Time for a new era of science diplomacy. Science 315, 769–770.
A journal article with 3 authors
Stott, P. A., Stone, D. A., and Allen, M. R. (2004). Human contribution to the European heatwave of 2003. Nature 432, 610–614.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Johnson, A. C., Petta, J. R., Taylor, J. M., Yacoby, A., Lukin, M. D., Marcus, C. M., et al. (2005). Triplet-singlet spin relaxation via nuclei in a double quantum dot. Nature 435, 925–928.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Kirchner, T. (2016). Merger Arbitrage. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Lenarčič, J., and Khatib, O. eds. (2014). Advances in Robot Kinematics. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Dominitz, A., Angenent, S., and Tannenbaum, A. (2008). “On the Computation of Optimal Transport Maps Using Gradient Flows and Multiresolution Analysis,” in Recent Advances in Learning and Control Lecture Notes in Control and Information Sciences., eds. V. D. Blondel, S. P. Boyd, and H. Kimura (London: Springer), 65–78.

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
O`Callaghan, J. (2017). SpaceX’s Dragon Capsule Arrives At ISS For First Time In Seven Months. 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 (2003). Space Station: Impact of the Grounding of the Shuttle Fleet. 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
Keep, A. W. (2013). A nanopass framework for commercial compiler development.

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
Hubbard, B. (2017). How Did Yoda End Up With a King? New York Times, A12.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Hoag, 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Hoag, 2003; Lord and Turekian, 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Lord and Turekian, 2007)
  • Three or more authors: (Johnson et al., 2005)

About the journal

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

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