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
Beaudet, A. L. (2010). Which way for genetic-test regulation? Leave test interpretation to specialists. Nature 466, 816–817.
A journal article with 2 authors
Sonnenburg, E. D., and Sonnenburg, J. L. (2015). Nutrition: A personal forecast. Nature 528, 484–486.
A journal article with 3 authors
Tarchini, B., Duboule, D., and Kmita, M. (2006). Regulatory constraints in the evolution of the tetrapod limb anterior-posterior polarity. Nature 443, 985–988.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Palmenberg, A. C., Spiro, D., Kuzmickas, R., Wang, S., Djikeng, A., Rathe, J. A., et al. (2009). Sequencing and analyses of all known human rhinovirus genomes reveal structure and evolution. Science 324, 55–59.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Maillard, P. (2013). Competitive Quality Strategies. Hoboken, NJ USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Wilbanks, T. J., and Fernandez, S. eds. (2014). Climate Change and Infrastructure, Urban Systems, and Vulnerabilities. Washington, DC: Island Press/Center for Resource Economics.
A chapter in an edited book
Hou, G., Zhou, K., Chang, J., Li, R., and Li, M. (2013). “Interrupt Modeling and Verification for Embedded Systems Based on Time Petri Nets,” in Advanced Parallel Processing Technologies: 10th International Symposium, APPT 2013, Stockholm, Sweden, August 27-28, 2013, Revised Selected Papers Lecture Notes in Computer Science., eds. C. Wu and A. Cohen (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer), 62–76.

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
O`Callaghan, J. (2017). Proxima b, The Closest Exoplanet To Earth, Could Be Habitable. 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 (2015). GPS: Actions Needed to Address Ground System Development Problems and User Equipment Production Readiness. 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
Hernandez, A. N. (2017). Connecting the Community: A Grant Proposal.

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
Kelly, C. (2012). It’s Not Billions, But It Can Help Rescue an Artist. New York Times, BU1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Zoback, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Kondo, 2014; Strogatz, 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Sonnenburg and Sonnenburg, 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Lee et al., 2013)

About the journal

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

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