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
Harris, N. (2015). Immunology: Chronic effects of acute infections. Nature 526, 509–510.
A journal article with 2 authors
Subramanian, M. A., and Manzer, L. E. (2002). A “greener” synthetic route for fluoroaromatics via copper (II) fluoride. Science 297, 1665.
A journal article with 3 authors
DeLoache, J. S., Uttal, D. H., and Rosengren, K. S. (2004). Scale errors offer evidence for a perception-action dissociation early in life. Science 304, 1027–1029.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Beltrán, M. T., Cesaroni, R., Codella, C., Testi, L., Furuya, R. S., and Olmi, L. (2006). Infall of gas as the formation mechanism of stars up to 20 times more massive than the Sun. Nature 443, 427–429.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Jones, N. F. (2008). The JCT Major Project Form. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
An edited book
Hazzan, O. (2008). Agile Software Engineering. , ed. Y. Dubinsky London: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Saini, S., and Kim, S.-J. (2015). “Three-Dimensional Nano-Machining in High-T c Oxide Superconductor Whiskers and Thin Films,” in Oxide Thin Films, Multilayers, and Nanocomposites, eds. P. Mele, T. Endo, S. Arisawa, C. Li, and T. Tsuchiya (Cham: Springer International Publishing), 69–84.

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
Andrews, R. (2016). South Africa Now Has The Continent’s First Solar-Powered Airport. 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 (1982). Improper Use of Federal Student Aid Funds for Lobbying Activities. 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
Tyler, E. P. (2013). Tectonic geomorphology of quaternary river terraces at Santa Cruz Creek, Santa Maria Basin, Santa Barbara County, California.

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
Brantley, B. (2017). Daughter, You’ve Turned Into Your Mother. New York Times, C1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Harris, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Subramanian and Manzer, 2002; Harris, 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Subramanian and Manzer, 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Beltrán et al., 2006)

About the journal

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

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