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
Friedman, W. E. (2013). Plant science. One genome, two ontogenies. Science 339, 1045–1046.
A journal article with 2 authors
Hommelhoff, P., and Higuchi, T. (2015). Strong-field physics: Harmonic radiation from crystals. Nature 523, 541–542.
A journal article with 3 authors
Helle, S., Lummaa, V., and Jokela, J. (2002). Sons reduced maternal longevity in preindustrial humans. Science 296, 1085.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Wang, L., Gu, Y., Chen, H., Zhang, J.-Y., Cui, Y., Gerardot, B. D., et al. (2013). Polarized linewidth-controllable double-trapping electromagnetically induced transparency spectra in a resonant plasmon nanocavity. Sci. Rep. 3, 2879.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Duffy, D. J. (2006). Introduction to C++ for Financial Engineers. Oxford, UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
An edited book
Barnett, G. H. ed. (2007). High-Grade Gliomas: Diagnosis and Treatment. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press.
A chapter in an edited book
Volkmann, C. K., Tokarski, K. O., and Grünhagen, M. (2010). “Marketing,” in Entrepreneurship in a European Perspective: Concepts for the Creation and Growth of New Ventures, eds. K. O. Tokarski and M. Grünhagen (Wiesbaden: Gabler), 185–242.

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, E. (2015). Why Ocean Energy Needs A Cyberinfrastructure To Thrive. 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 (2007). Data Mining: Early Attention to Privacy in Developing a Key DHS Program Could Reduce Risks. 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
Tambornini, T. F. (2013). Supportive and subsidized housing solutions for Sonoma County: A grant project.

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
Hodara, S. (2015). Exploring Gender as Disguise and Identity. New York Times, CT10.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Friedman, 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Friedman, 2013; Hommelhoff and Higuchi, 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Hommelhoff and Higuchi, 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Wang 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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