How to format your references using the Frontiers in Pharmacology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Frontiers in Pharmacology. 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
Morgan, J. A. (2002). Ecology. Looking beneath the surface. Science 298, 1903–1904.
A journal article with 2 authors
Beagle, S. D., and Lockless, S. W. (2015). Microbiology: Electrical signalling goes bacterial. Nature 527, 44–45.
A journal article with 3 authors
Huang, S., Bai, M., and Wang, L. (2013). General and facile surface functionalization of hydrophobic nanocrystals with poly(amino acid) for cell luminescence imaging. Sci. Rep. 3, 2023.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Filippakopoulos, P., Qi, J., Picaud, S., Shen, Y., Smith, W. B., Fedorov, O., et al. (2010). Selective inhibition of BET bromodomains. Nature 468, 1067–1073.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Smith, C., and Meeking, D. (2013). How to Succeed at the Medical Interview. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Haji-Othman, N. A., McLellan, J., and Deterding, D. eds. (2016). The Use and Status of Language in Brunei Darussalam: A Kingdom of Unexpected Linguistic Diversity. Singapore: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Shao, Z., and Zhang, Y. (2015). “Quantitative Comparison of ChIP-Seq Data Sets Using MAnorm,” in Computational and Statistical Epigenomics Translational Bioinformatics., ed. A. E. Teschendorff (Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands), 69–90.

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 Pharmacology.

Blog post
Hale, T. (2017). Never-Before-Seen Behavior Of Chimp Brushing Dead Son’s Teeth. 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 (2010). Aviation Security: TSA Has Made Progress but Faces Challenges in Meeting the Statutory Mandate for Screening Air Cargo on Passenger Aircraft. 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
Equihua, D. (2010). The relationship of mental health and family factors to parental involvement in their children’s education among Latina mothers.

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
Paulson, M. (2017). ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ and ‘Oslo’ Top Tonys. New York Times, C1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Morgan, 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Beagle and Lockless, 2015; Morgan, 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Beagle and Lockless, 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Filippakopoulos et al., 2010)

About the journal

Full journal titleFrontiers in Pharmacology
AbbreviationFront. Pharmacol.
ISSN (online)1663-9812
ScopePharmacology (medical)

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