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
Wessells, H. (2000). Another green world. There’s more to industrial waste than chimneys and slag heaps. Nature 405, 741.
A journal article with 2 authors
Türkmen, Y. E., and Aggarwal, V. K. (2014). A simpler route for making nitrogen-alkene rings. [corrected]. Science 343, 33–34.
A journal article with 3 authors
Hummer, G., Rasaiah, J. C., and Noworyta, J. P. (2001). Water conduction through the hydrophobic channel of a carbon nanotube. Nature 414, 188–190.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
McManus, J. F., Francois, R., Gherardi, J.-M., Keigwin, L. D., and Brown-Leger, S. (2004). Collapse and rapid resumption of Atlantic meridional circulation linked to deglacial climate changes. Nature 428, 834–837.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Waine, C. (2008). Obesity and Weight Management in Primary Care. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Science Ltd.
An edited book
Biehl, M., Hammer, B., Verleysen, M., and Villmann, T. eds. (2009). Similarity-Based Clustering: Recent Developments and Biomedical Applications. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Wang, J. M., and Zhang, G. P. (2010). “β-glucans and Arabinoxylans,” in Genetics and Improvement of Barley Malt Quality Advanced Topics in Science and Technology in China., eds. G. Zhang and C. Li (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer), 113–142.

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
Hale, T. (2016). Golden Curse Tablets Have Been Found In A Roman Tomb. 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 (1987). Research Evidence Concerning Bilingual Education. 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
Norris, E. L. (2008). A depth psychological view of the Christian myth: C. G. Jung, Elizabeth Boyden Howes, and the Guild for Psychological Studies.

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
Rothenberg, B. (2017). Bringing to Light a Seminal Figure. New York Times, SP4.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Wessells, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Wessells, 2000; Türkmen and Aggarwal, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Türkmen and Aggarwal, 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (McManus et al., 2004)

About the journal

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

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