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
Ledford, H. (2009). Ahead of the pack. Nature 459, 286–287.
A journal article with 2 authors
Mounce, R. C. P., and Wills, M. A. (2011). Phylogenetic position of Diania challenged. Nature 476, E1; discussion E3-4.
A journal article with 3 authors
Chaudhuri, J., Khuong, C., and Alt, F. W. (2004). Replication protein A interacts with AID to promote deamination of somatic hypermutation targets. Nature 430, 992–998.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Nojiri, M., Koteishi, H., Nakagami, T., Kobayashi, K., Inoue, T., Yamaguchi, K., et al. (2009). Structural basis of inter-protein electron transfer for nitrite reduction in denitrification. Nature 462, 117–120.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Huang, F., Klette, R., and Scheibe, K. (2008). Panoramic Imaging. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Carretero, J., Garcia-Blas, J., Ko, R. K. L., Mueller, P., and Nakano, K. eds. (2016). Algorithms and Architectures for Parallel Processing: 16th International Conference, ICA3PP 2016, Granada, Spain, December 14-16, 2016, Proceedings. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Hesthaven, J. S., Rozza, G., and Stamm, B. (2016). “The Empirical Interpolation Method,” in Certified Reduced Basis Methods for Parametrized Partial Differential Equations SpringerBriefs in Mathematics., eds. G. Rozza and B. Stamm (Cham: Springer International Publishing), 67–85.

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). New Device Could Revive Dead Hearts. 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 (1992). Aviation Safety: Better Oversight Would Reduce the Risk of Air Taxi Accidents. 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
Davidson, J. M. (2010). Transitional age youth—a program expansion to enhance existing services in Sonoma County: A grant-writing 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
Kelly, C. (2007). Making College a Reality For Hispanic Students. New York Times, 14WE6.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Ledford, 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Ledford, 2009; Mounce and Wills, 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Mounce and Wills, 2011)
  • Three or more authors: (Nojiri et al., 2009)

About the journal

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

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