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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Frontiers in Plant Cell Biology. 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
Tso, T. C. (2004). Agriculture of the future. Nature 428, 215–217.
A journal article with 2 authors
Zhao, M., and Running, S. W. (2010). Drought-induced reduction in global terrestrial net primary production from 2000 through 2009. Science 329, 940–943.
A journal article with 3 authors
Bard, E., Hamelin, B., and Delanghe-Sabatier, D. (2010). Deglacial meltwater pulse 1B and Younger Dryas sea levels revisited with boreholes at Tahiti. Science 327, 1235–1237.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Wilson, R. J., Thomas, C. D., Fox, R., Roy, D. B., and Kunin, W. E. (2004). Spatial patterns in species distributions reveal biodiversity change. Nature 432, 393–396.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Glisic, S. (2005). Advanced Wireless Communications. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Cao, L., Zhong, J., and Feng, Y. eds. (2010). Advanced Data Mining and Applications: 6th International Conference, ADMA 2010, Chongqing, China, November 19-21, 2010, Proceedings, Part II. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Fassetti, F., Leone, O., Palopoli, L., Rombo, S. E., and Saiardi, A. (2011). “IP6K Gene Discovery in Plant mtDNA,” in Computational Intelligence Methods for Bioinformatics and Biostatistics: 7th International Meeting, CIBB 2010, Palermo, Italy, September 16-18, 2010, Revised Selected Papers Lecture Notes in Computer Science., eds. R. Rizzo and P. J. G. Lisboa (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer), 59–71.

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 Cell Biology.

Blog post
Luntz, S. (2016). Bone Defense Stops Spread of Breast Cancer. 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 (1982). Army Needs Better Data To Develop Policies for Sole and Inservice Parents. 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
Tucker, T. N. (2014). Virtual K-12 leadership: A postmodern paradigm.

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
Vecsey, G. (2010). In Showdown, Sure Hands And Shaky Ones. New York Times, SP1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Tso, 2004).
This sentence cites two references (Tso, 2004; Zhao and Running, 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Zhao and Running, 2010)
  • Three or more authors: (Wilson et al., 2004)

About the journal

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

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