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
Cully, M. (2013). Drug development: Chemical brace. Nature 503, S10-2.
A journal article with 2 authors
Gantz, V. M., and Bier, E. (2015). Genome editing. The mutagenic chain reaction: a method for converting heterozygous to homozygous mutations. Science 348, 442–444.
A journal article with 3 authors
Petrie, R. J., Koo, H., and Yamada, K. M. (2014). Generation of compartmentalized pressure by a nuclear piston governs cell motility in a 3D matrix. Science 345, 1062–1065.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Zhang, T., Zhou, J., Jiang, R., Yang, H., Carney, P. R., and Jiang, H. (2014). Pre-seizure state identified by diffuse optical tomography. Sci. Rep. 4, 3798.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chandler, C. (2010). The Science of ADHD. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
An edited book
Roncella, A., and Pristipino, C. eds. (2016). Psychotherapy for Ischemic Heart Disease: An Evidence-based Clinical Approach. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Greenbaum, B., Trifonov, V., Khiabanian, H., Levine, A., and Rabadan, R. (2011). “The Emergence of 2009 H1N1 Pandemic Influenza,” in Influenza Vaccines for the Future, eds. R. Rappuoli and G. Del Giudice (Basel: Springer), 95–111.

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
Andrews, R. (2016). Global Warming Was A Fifth Worse In The Last 150 Years Than Historical Records Show. 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 (2005). Information Technology: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Needs to Establish Critical Investment Management Capabilities. 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
Milliken, D. E. (2012). Blood pressure measurement in the primary care provider setting: A project evaluating the blood pressure technique of nursing staff.

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
Novick, S. M. (2015). Flavor Bombs From a Storm-Tossed Chef. New York Times, LI7.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Cully, 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Cully, 2013; Gantz and Bier, 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Gantz and Bier, 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Zhang et al., 2014)

About the journal

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

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