How to format your references using the Frontiers in Plant Biotechnology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Frontiers in Plant Biotechnology. 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
Koshland, D. E., Jr (2002). Special essay. The seven pillars of life. Science 295, 2215–2216.
A journal article with 2 authors
Senn, D. B., and Hemond, H. F. (2002). Nitrate controls on iron and arsenic in an urban lake. Science 296, 2373–2376.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ahn, K. H., Lookman, T., and Bishop, A. R. (2004). Strain-induced metal-insulator phase coexistence in perovskite manganites. Nature 428, 401–404.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Stallard, T., Miller, S., Melin, H., Lystrup, M., Cowley, S. W. H., Bunce, E. J., et al. (2008). Jovian-like aurorae on Saturn. Nature 453, 1083–1085.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Krasner, D. (2016). A History of Modern Drama. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Ravi, S. S., and Shukla, S. K. eds. (2009). Fundamental Problems in Computing: Essays in Honor of Professor Daniel J. Rosenkrantz. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Alhazov, A., and Freund, R. (2015). “Polarizationless P Systems with One Active Membrane,” in Membrane Computing: 16th International Conference, CMC 2015, Valencia, Spain, August 17-21, 2015, Revised Selected Papers Lecture Notes in Computer Science., eds. G. Rozenberg, A. Salomaa, J. M. Sempere, and C. Zandron (Cham: Springer International Publishing), 51–62.

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 Plant Biotechnology.

Blog post
Carpineti, C. (2017). Video: Flat-Earthers Present Their “Evidence” For Why The Earth Is Flat. 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 (1975). Need for More Effective Management of Transportation Data Systems. 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
O’Byrne, S. M. (2008). Metabolic and pathological role of retinyl esters: The role of lecithin:retinol acyl transferase, (LRAT).

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
Feeney, K. (2010). For Future Iron Chefs, More Places to Learn. New York Times, NJ13.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Koshland, 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Koshland, 2002; Senn and Hemond, 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Senn and Hemond, 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Stallard et al., 2008)

About the journal

Full journal titleFrontiers in Plant Biotechnology
AbbreviationFront. Plant Sci.
ISSN (online)1664-462X
ScopePlant Science

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