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
Greengard, P. (2001). The neurobiology of slow synaptic transmission. Science 294, 1024–1030.
A journal article with 2 authors
Pearse, A.-M., and Swift, K. (2006). Allograft theory: transmission of devil facial-tumour disease. Nature 439, 549.
A journal article with 3 authors
Schaedler, T. A., Jacobsen, A. J., and Carter, W. B. (2013). Materials science. Toward lighter, stiffer materials. Science 341, 1181–1182.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Vaudry, D., Stork, P. J. S., Lazarovici, P., and Eiden, L. E. (2002). Signaling pathways for PC12 cell differentiation: making the right connections. Science 296, 1648–1649.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lahdenmäki, T., and Leach, M. (2005). Relational Database Index Design and the Optimizers. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Halaburda, H. (2016). Beyond Bitcoin: The Economics of Digital Currencies. , ed. M. Sarvary New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan US.
A chapter in an edited book
Márk, G. I., Vancsó, P., Biró, L. P., Kvashnin, D. G., Chernozatonskii, L. A., Chaves, A., et al. (2016). “Wave Packet Dynamical Calculations for Carbon Nanostructures,” in Fundamental and Applied Nano-Electromagnetics NATO Science for Peace and Security Series B: Physics and Biophysics., eds. A. Maffucci and S. A. Maksimenko (Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands), 89–102.

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, E. (2014). Maddest Scientists Of All Time. 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 (1998). Gulf War Illnesses: Federal Research Strategy Needs Reexamination. 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
Tripputi, M. T. (2009). Use of mediation in designing clinical trials with two primary endpoints.

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
Murphy, M. J. O. (2015). ‘Bond, James Bond,’ Through the Years. New York Times, C37.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Greengard, 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Greengard, 2001; Pearse and Swift, 2006).

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

  • Two authors: (Pearse and Swift, 2006)
  • Three or more authors: (Vaudry et al., 2002)

About the journal

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

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