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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Frontiers in Plant Systems Biology. 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
Li, W. (2009). Small but effective moves towards a greener China. Nature 460, 683–684.
A journal article with 2 authors
Catania, K. C., and Remple, F. E. (2005). Asymptotic prey profitability drives star-nosed moles to the foraging speed limit. Nature 433, 519–522.
A journal article with 3 authors
Laine, E.-M., Breuer, H.-P., and Piilo, J. (2014). Nonlocal memory effects allow perfect teleportation with mixed states. Sci. Rep. 4, 4620.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Filella, I., Primante, C., Llusià, J., Martín González, A. M., Seco, R., Farré-Armengol, G., et al. (2013). Floral advertisement scent in a changing plant-pollinators market. Sci. Rep. 3, 3434.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Dimon, R. (2013). Enterprise Performance Management Done Right. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Lum, C., and Kennedy, L. W. eds. (2012). Evidence-Based Counterterrorism Policy. New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Bagdanov, A. D., Del Bimbo, A., Landucci, L., and Pernici, F. (2012). “MNEMOSYNE: Enhancing the Museum Experience through Interactive Media and Visual Profiling,” in Multimedia for Cultural Heritage: First International Workshop, MM4CH 2011, Modena, Italy, May 3, 2011, Revised Selected Papers Communications in Computer and Information Science., eds. C. Grana and R. Cucchiara (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer), 39–50.

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 Systems Biology.

Blog post
Andrew, D. (2014). What Actually Are You? 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 (2012). Delayed-Baggage Trends and Options for Compensating Passengers. 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
Shambra, S. M. (2017). Automated Vulnerability Assessment of Mobile Device Vulnerabilities.

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
Zecher, L. K. (2013). The Path to Publishing. New York Times, BU8.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Li, 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Catania and Remple, 2005; Li, 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Catania and Remple, 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (Filella et al., 2013)

About the journal

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

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