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
Matsuda, R. (2014). Materials chemistry: Selectivity from flexibility. Nature 509, 434–435.
A journal article with 2 authors
Schoch, R. R., and Sues, H.-D. (2015). A Middle Triassic stem-turtle and the evolution of the turtle body plan. Nature 523, 584–587.
A journal article with 3 authors
Bhalla, U. S., Ram, P. T., and Iyengar, R. (2002). MAP kinase phosphatase as a locus of flexibility in a mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling network. Science 297, 1018–1023.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Hagen, S., Baumann, T., Wagner, H. J., Morath, V., Kaufmann, B., Fischer, A., et al. (2014). Modular adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors used for cellular virus-directed enzyme prodrug therapy. Sci. Rep. 4, 3759.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
ASAE (2013). 7 Measures of Success. Washington, DC: ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership.
An edited book
Lee, S. Y. (2014). Green Leadership in China: Management Strategies from China’s Most Responsible Companies. , eds. A. Ramasamy and J. H. Rhee Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Ferrara, A., and Scarpone, D. (2014). “The Special Regions and the Autonomous Provinces,” in Italian Regionalism: Between Unitary Traditions and Federal Processes: Investigating Italy’s Form of State, ed. S. Mangiameli (Cham: Springer International Publishing), 111–135.

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. (2014). Why We Should Mine The Moon. 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 (2014). U.S. Launch Enterprise: Acquisition Best Practices Can Benefit Future Efforts. 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
Venter, W. M. (2016). People and Pride: A Qualitative Study of Place Attachment and Professional Placemakers.

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. (2009). The Fading of the Green. New York Times, CY1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Matsuda, 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Matsuda, 2014; Schoch and Sues, 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Schoch and Sues, 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Hagen et al., 2014)

About the journal

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

Other styles