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
Banda, E. (2002). Science in Europe. Implementing the European research area. Science 295, 443.
A journal article with 2 authors
Yang, X., and Su, H. (2014). Cuprate-like electronic properties in superlattices with Ag(II)F₂ square sheet. Sci. Rep. 4, 5420.
A journal article with 3 authors
Holmes, E. A., Craske, M. G., and Graybiel, A. M. (2014). Psychological treatments: A call for mental-health science. Nature 511, 287–289.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Oudejans, R. R., Verheijen, R., Bakker, F. C., Gerrits, J. C., Steinbrückner, M., and Beek, P. J. (2000). Errors in judging “offside” in football. Nature 404, 33.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Kroese, D. P., Taimre, T., Botev, Z. I., and Rubinstein, R. Y. (2007). Simulation and the Monte Carlo Method: Solutions Manual to Accompany. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Rigueiro-Rodróguez, A., McAdam, J., and Mosquera-Losada, M. R. eds. (2009). Agroforestry in Europe: Current Status and Future Prospects. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Teodor, V., Cucu, M., and Oancea, N. (2009). “The Worm Cutter Tool Profiling Based on Discreet Surfaces Representation,” in Proceedings of the European Computing Conference: Volume 2 Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering., eds. N. Mastorakis, V. Mladenov, and V. T. Kontargyri (Boston, MA: Springer US), 49–62.

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
Carpineti, A. (2016). Dust Grains That Form Planets Are 10 Times Smaller Than Thought. 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 (1977). The Impact of Federal Commodity Donations on the School Lunch Program. 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
Klein, J. (2017). Mississippian Space and Place: A Geographical Study of Archaeological Site Data in the American Bottom.

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
Ochs, S. M. (2016). At Banks, the Buck Stops Short. New York Times, A27.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Banda, 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Banda, 2002; Yang and Su, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Yang and Su, 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Oudejans et al., 2000)

About the journal

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

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