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
Lazer, D. (2015). Social sciences. The rise of the social algorithm. Science 348, 1090–1091.
A journal article with 2 authors
Losos, J. B., and Ricklefs, R. E. (2009). Adaptation and diversification on islands. Nature 457, 830–836.
A journal article with 3 authors
Foran, E., Weiner, S., and Fine, M. (2013). Biogenic fish-gut calcium carbonate is a stable amorphous phase in the gilt-head seabream, Sparus aurata. Sci. Rep. 3, 1700.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Kurakawa, T., Ueda, N., Maekawa, M., Kobayashi, K., Kojima, M., Nagato, Y., et al. (2007). Direct control of shoot meristem activity by a cytokinin-activating enzyme. Nature 445, 652–655.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Masujima, M. (2005). Applied Mathematical Methods in Theoretical Physics. Weinheim, FRG: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Bou-Sleiman, S. (2012). Built-in-Self-Test and Digital Self-Calibration for RF SoCs. , ed. M. Ismail New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Terrazas, G., and Krasnogor, N. (2012). “Genotype-Fitness Correlation Analysis for Evolutionary Design of Self-assembly Wang Tiles,” in Nature Inspired Cooperative Strategies for Optimization (NICSO 2011) Studies in Computational Intelligence., eds. D. A. Pelta, N. Krasnogor, D. Dumitrescu, C. Chira, and R. Lung (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer), 73–84.

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
Andrew, E. (2015). First Flight Test Today For NASA’s Newest Partner. 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 (1981). Disparities Still Exist in Who Gets Special 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
Tapal, S. S. (2012). Is the fourth generation of Six Sigma an effective professional development model in K-12 education?

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
Poniewozik, J. (2016). Harshing the Mellow of Angsty Hipsters. New York Times, C9.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Lazer, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Lazer, 2015; Losos and Ricklefs, 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Losos and Ricklefs, 2009)
  • Three or more authors: (Kurakawa et al., 2007)

About the journal

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

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