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
Schmelcher, P. (2012). Chemistry. Molecule formation in ultrahigh magnetic fields. Science 337, 302–303.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ramos, S. B. V., and Laederach, A. (2014). Molecular biology: A second layer of information in RNA. Nature 505, 621–622.
A journal article with 3 authors
Beaber, J. W., Hochhut, B., and Waldor, M. K. (2004). SOS response promotes horizontal dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes. Nature 427, 72–74.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Yu, Z., Yang, J., Amalfitano, S., Yu, X., and Liu, L. (2014). Effects of water stratification and mixing on microbial community structure in a subtropical deep reservoir. Sci. Rep. 4, 5821.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Kerzner, H. (2015). Project Management 2.0. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Stockmann, R., and Meyer, W. eds. (2016). The Future of Evaluation: Global Trends, New Challenges, Shared Perspectives. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK.
A chapter in an edited book
Watkins, R. G. (2015). “Anterior Medial Approach to C1, C2, and C3,” in Surgical Approaches to the Spine, eds. R. G. Watkins III and R. G. Watkins IV (New York, NY: Springer), 27–32.

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
Andrew, E. (2015). Filefish can Camouflage in just 2 Seconds. 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 (1985). Computers: Information on the Patent and Trademark Office Automation Program. 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
Castro, R. (2012). Faculty unions and their effects on university shared governance.

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
Crow, K. (2001). Singed From the Attack, Trees Find a Safer Home. New York Times, 146.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Schmelcher, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Schmelcher, 2012; Ramos and Laederach, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Ramos and Laederach, 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Yu et al., 2014)

About the journal

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

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