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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Frontiers in Plant Physiology. 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
Mindell, J. A. (2010). Structural biology. The Tao of chloride transporter structure. Science 330, 601–602.
A journal article with 2 authors
Mattaini, K. R., and Vander Heiden, M. G. (2012). Cancer. Glycosylation to adapt to stress. Science 337, 925–926.
A journal article with 3 authors
Behie, S. W., Zelisko, P. M., and Bidochka, M. J. (2012). Endophytic insect-parasitic fungi translocate nitrogen directly from insects to plants. Science 336, 1576–1577.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Grevet, J. D., Lan, X., Hamagami, N., Edwards, C. R., Sankaranarayanan, L., Ji, X., et al. (2018). Domain-focused CRISPR screen identifies HRI as a fetal hemoglobin regulator in human erythroid cells. Science 361, 285–290.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Frueh, B. C., Grubaugh, A. L., Elhai, J. D., and Ford, J. D. (2012). Assessment and Treatment Planning for PTSD. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Parker, D. ed. (2014). Bacterial Activation of Type I Interferons. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Calderwood, S. K., Murshid, A., Zhu, B., and Mambula, S. S. (2010). “Role of Host Molecular Chaperones in Responses to Bacterial Infection and Endotoxin Exposure,” in Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Heat Shock Proteins in Infectious Disease Heat Shock Proteins., eds. A. G. Pockley, S. K. Calderwood, and M. G. Santoro (Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands), 107–120.

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 Physiology.

Blog post
Luntz, S. (2017). Oldest Orchid Twice As Ancient As Previous Record-Holder. 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 (1988). Airline Competition: Fare and Service Changes at St. Louis Since the TWA-Ozark Merger. 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
Estrin, E. M. (2012). Individual Doubles: A Look at Twinship and Attachment Theory.

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
Smith, M. (2017). Minneapolis Police Chief Is Forced Out. New York Times, A12.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Mindell, 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Mindell, 2010; Mattaini and Vander Heiden, 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Mattaini and Vander Heiden, 2012)
  • Three or more authors: (Grevet et al., 2018)

About the journal

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

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