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
Ratner, M. (2000). Pushing electrons around. Nature 404, 137–138.
A journal article with 2 authors
Hafernik, J., and Saul-Gershenz, L. (2000). Beetle larvae cooperate to mimic bees. Nature 405, 35–36.
A journal article with 3 authors
Lassus, P., Opitz-Araya, X., and Lazebnik, Y. (2002). Requirement for caspase-2 in stress-induced apoptosis before mitochondrial permeabilization. Science 297, 1352–1354.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Rajakulendran, T., Sahmi, M., Lefrançois, M., Sicheri, F., and Therrien, M. (2009). A dimerization-dependent mechanism drives RAF catalytic activation. Nature 461, 542–545.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
D’Amico, G., Di Biase, G., Janssen, J., and Manca, R. (2017). Semi-Markov Migration Models for Credit Risk. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Eadie, M. J. (2016). Antiepileptic Drugs and Pregnancy: A Guide for Prescribers. , ed. F. Vajda Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Jiang, B., Li, J., and Guo, B. (2015). “Research on Simulation of Inter-satellite Link Based on the Navigating Constellation,” in Proceedings of the 27th Conference of Spacecraft TT&C Technology in China: Wider Space for TT&C Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering., eds. R. Shen and W. Qian (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer), 37–47.

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
Fang, J. (2014). Mars Rover Breaks Longest Off-World Driving Record. 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). Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle: DOD Is Assessing Data on Worldwide Launch Market to Inform New Acquisition Strategy. 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
Wang, T. (2013). Talking to Strangers: Chinese Youth and Social Media.

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
Kleiman, K. (2011). Change Sweeps Through Black Theater in Chicago. New York Times, A19B.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Ratner, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Hafernik and Saul-Gershenz, 2000; Ratner, 2000).

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

  • Two authors: (Hafernik and Saul-Gershenz, 2000)
  • Three or more authors: (Rajakulendran et al., 2009)

About the journal

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

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