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
Bassham, D. C. (2015). Plant biology: Pigments on the move. Nature 526, 644–645.
A journal article with 2 authors
Mescher, M. C., and De Moraes, C. M. (2014). Plant biology: Pass the ammunition. Nature 510, 221–222.
A journal article with 3 authors
Mutanen, M., Kaila, L., and Tabell, J. (2013). Wide-ranging barcoding aids discovery of one-third increase of species richness in presumably well-investigated moths. Sci. Rep. 3, 2901.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Hashimoto, H., Horton, J. R., Zhang, X., Bostick, M., Jacobsen, S. E., and Cheng, X. (2008). The SRA domain of UHRF1 flips 5-methylcytosine out of the DNA helix. Nature 455, 826–829.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Larkin, R. F., and DiTommaso, M. (2015). Wiley Not-for-Profit GAAP 2015. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Chatterjee, M., and Kashfi, K. eds. (2012). Cell Signaling & Molecular Targets in Cancer. 1st ed. New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Brachman, P. S., and Kaufmann, A. F. (2009). “Anthrax,” in Bacterial Infections of Humans: Epidemiology and Control, eds. P. S. Brachman and E. Abrutyn (Boston, MA: Springer US), 105–119.

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
Andrew, D. (2016). Interactive Body Map: Physical Inactivity And The Risks To Your Health. 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 (2016). Commercial Space: Industry Developments and FAA Challenges. 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
Amodeo, G. A. (2009). Structural and biochemical characterization of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae AMPK homolog SNF1.

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
Stellin, S. (2013). The Border Is a Back Door for U.S. Device Searches. New York Times, B1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Bassham, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Mescher and De Moraes, 2014; Bassham, 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Mescher and De Moraes, 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Hashimoto et al., 2008)

About the journal

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

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