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
Lewis, S. L. (2014). Scientist-versus-activist debates mislead the public. Nature 506, 409.
A journal article with 2 authors
Swetter, S. M., and Geller, A. C. (2014). Perspective: catch melanoma early. Nature 515, S117.
A journal article with 3 authors
Villegas, P., Moretti, P., and Muñoz, M. A. (2014). Frustrated hierarchical synchronization and emergent complexity in the human connectome network. Sci. Rep. 4, 5990.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Galindo-Cuspinera, V., Winnig, M., Bufe, B., Meyerhof, W., and Breslin, P. A. S. (2006). A TAS1R receptor-based explanation of sweet “water-taste.” Nature 441, 354–357.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Smith, C. L. (2012). Distillation Control. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Kopřiva, J. (2015). Temporal Bone CT and MRI Anatomy: A Guide to 3D Volumetric Acquisitions. , ed. J. Žižka Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Lees, A. W. (2015). “Recent Advances and Prospects in Condition Monitoring,” in Vibration Engineering and Technology of Machinery: Proceedings of VETOMAC X 2014, held at the University of Manchester, UK, September 9-11, 2014 Mechanisms and Machine Science., ed. J. K. Sinha (Cham: Springer International Publishing), 51–63.

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
Davis, J. (2015). California Set To Give Solar Panels To Low-Income Families For Free. 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 (1990). Preserving the Interstate System. 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
Do, Y. K. (2008). Effects of informal care on caregivers’ labor market outcomes and health in South Korea.

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
Otis, J. (2016). A ‘Do It’ Kind of Woman Waits for the Strength to Get Back to Being Herself. New York Times, A24.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Lewis, 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Lewis, 2014; Swetter and Geller, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Swetter and Geller, 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Galindo-Cuspinera et al., 2006)

About the journal

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

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