How to format your references using the Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences. 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
Kreeger, K. (2002). At last, a chance for postdocs to learn how to teach. Nature 415, 5.
A journal article with 2 authors
Piotrowska, K., and Zernicka-Goetz, M. (2001). Role for sperm in spatial patterning of the early mouse embryo. Nature 409, 517–521.
A journal article with 3 authors
Pavlidis, I., Eberhardt, N. L., and Levine, J. A. (2002). Seeing through the face of deception. Nature 415, 35.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Trotter, J. A., Williams, I. S., Barnes, C. R., Lécuyer, C., and Nicoll, R. S. (2008). Did cooling oceans trigger Ordovician biodiversification? Evidence from conodont thermometry. Science 321, 550–554.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Mitra, A. (2008). Fundamentals of Quality Control and Improvement. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Advani, A. S., and Lazarus, H. M. eds. (2011). Adult Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia: Biology and Treatment. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press.
A chapter in an edited book
Courtois, L., Maire, E., Perez, M., Brechet, Y., and Rodney, D. (2011). “Mechanical properties of Monofilament entangled materials,” in Optical Measurements, Modeling, and Metrology, Volume 5: Proceedings of the 2011 Annual Conference on Experimental and Applied Mechanics Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series., ed. T. Proulx (New York, NY: Springer), 33–38.

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 Molecular Biosciences.

Blog post
Hamilton, K. (2017). Robots And AI Could Soon Have Feelings, Hopes And Rights… We Must Prepare For The Reckoning. 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 (1995). Denver International Airport. 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
Gifford, S. C. (2013). (Re)making men, representing the Caribbean nation: Authorial individuation in works by Fred D’aguiar, Robert Antoni, and Marlon James.

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
Hollander, S. (2000). Johns Hopkins Goalie Sticks to Daring Style. New York Times, D8.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Kreeger, 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Kreeger, 2002; Piotrowska and Zernicka-Goetz, 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Piotrowska and Zernicka-Goetz, 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Trotter et al., 2008)

About the journal

Full journal titleFrontiers in Molecular Biosciences
AbbreviationFront. Mol. Biosci.
ISSN (online)2296-889X

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