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
Anderson, J. B. (2007). Climate change. Ice sheet stability and sea-level rise. Science 315, 1803–1804.
A journal article with 2 authors
Macfarlane, A., and Martin, G. (2004). Beyond the ivory tower. A world of glass. Science 305, 1407–1408.
A journal article with 3 authors
Cortright, R. D., Davda, R. R., and Dumesic, J. A. (2002). Hydrogen from catalytic reforming of biomass-derived hydrocarbons in liquid water. Nature 418, 964–967.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Schartl, M., Hornung, U., Hissmann, K., Schauer, J., and Fricke, H. (2005). Genetics: relatedness among east African coelacanths. Nature 435, 901.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lui, S. H. (2011). Numerical Analysis of Partial Differential Equations. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Alston, J. M. (2010). Persistence Pays: U.S. Agricultural Productivity Growth and the Benefits from Public R&D Spending. , eds. M. A. Andersen, J. S. James, and P. G. Pardey New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Lipscombe, L. (2011). “Insulin, Insulin Resistance, and Cancer Associations,” in Insulin Resistance and Cancer: Epidemiology, Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Implications, ed. I. G. Fantus (New York, NY: Springer), 111–140.

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
O`Callaghan, J. (2017). Could Life Survive In The TRAPPIST-1 System? IFLScience.


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 (1974). Subcontract Estimates Included in Prime Contract Prices at Amphenol Space and Missile Systems Division. 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
Lewis, S. S. (2006). Identification of Stress-Responsive Genes in the Early Larval Stage of the Fathead Minnow Pimephales promelas.

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
Kishkovsky, S. (2005). For Russia’s Nouveaux Riches, Indoor Plumbing Deluxe. New York Times, A4.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Anderson, 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Macfarlane and Martin, 2004; Anderson, 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Macfarlane and Martin, 2004)
  • Three or more authors: (Schartl et al., 2005)

About the journal

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

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