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
Clack, J. A. (2002). An early tetrapod from “Romer’s Gap.” Nature 418, 72–76.
A journal article with 2 authors
Kim, B. H., and Kwon, J. W. (2014). Metal catalyst for low-temperature growth of controlled zinc oxide nanowires on arbitrary substrates. Sci. Rep. 4, 4379.
A journal article with 3 authors
Campbell, C., Shea, K., and Albert, R. (2014). Network models. Comment on “Control profiles of complex networks.” Science 346, 561.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Ang, L., Arboleya, S., Lihua, G., Chuihui, Y., Nan, Q., Suarez, M., et al. (2014). The establishment of the infant intestinal microbiome is not affected by rotavirus vaccination. Sci. Rep. 4, 7417.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Demand, N. H. (2011). The Mediterranean Context of Early Greek History. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
An edited book
Baessler, K., Burgio, K. L., Norton, P. A., Schüssler, B., Moore, K. H., and Stanton, S. L. eds. (2008). Pelvic Floor Re-education: Principles and Practice. Second Edition. London: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Grinin, L., and Korotayev, A. (2015). “Afterword: The Great Convergence and Possible Increase in Global Instability, or the World Without an Absolute Leader,” in Great Divergence and Great Convergence: A Global Perspective, ed. A. Korotayev (Cham: Springer International Publishing), 159–166.

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
Fang, J. (2014). Early Cretaceous Bloodsucking Bugs Found in China. 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 (2015). Women in STEM Research: Federal Agencies Differ in the Data They Collect on Grant Applicants. 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
Rosenfeld, E. G. (2009). The ascent of women to senior leadership positions in the financial services industry: A phenomenological study.

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
Gustines, G. G. (2014). Comics Sales Rise, in Paper and Pixels. New York Times, B3.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Clack, 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Clack, 2002; Kim and Kwon, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Kim and Kwon, 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Ang et al., 2014)

About the journal

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

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