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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Frontiers in Plant Science. 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
Solow, A. R. (2013). Global warming: A call for peace on climate and conflict. Nature 497, 179–180.
A journal article with 2 authors
Volkow, N. D., and Baler, R. D. (2012). Neuroscience. To stop or not to stop? Science 335, 546–548.
A journal article with 3 authors
Holt, B. F., 3rd, Belkhadir, Y., and Dangl, J. L. (2005). Antagonistic control of disease resistance protein stability in the plant immune system. Science 309, 929–932.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Wang, Y.-K., Sheng, G.-P., Shi, B.-J., Li, W.-W., and Yu, H.-Q. (2013). A novel electrochemical membrane bioreactor as a potential net energy producer for sustainable wastewater treatment. Sci. Rep. 3, 1864.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Drake, P. P., and Fabozzi, F. J. (2010). The Basics of Finance. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Psaraftis, H. N. ed. (2016). Green Transportation Logistics: The Quest for Win-Win Solutions. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Hennessy, D. A., and Wang, T. (2012). “Animal Disease and the Industrialization of Agriculture,” in Health and Animal Agriculture in Developing Countries, eds. D. Zilberman, J. Otte, D. Roland-Holst, and D. Pfeiffer (New York, NY: Springer), 77–99.

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 Science.

Blog post
Luntz, S. (2017). Ancient Pottery Reveals Sudden Drop In Strength Of Earth’s Magnetic Field. 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 (1994). Aviation Safety: FAA’s Assessment of Pre-flight Service Technology Options. 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
Husted, C. L. (2008). Systematic differentiation between Dark and Light Leaders: Is a corporate criminal profile possible?

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
Haigney, S. (2017). A Stolen de Kooning Emerges Decades Later. New York Times, C3.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Solow, 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Solow, 2013; Volkow and Baler, 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Volkow and Baler, 2012)
  • Three or more authors: (Wang et al., 2013)

About the journal

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

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