How to format your references using the Frontiers in Psychology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Frontiers in Psychology. 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
Blake, D. (2004). Biodiscovery--from reef to outback. Nature 429, 15–17.
A journal article with 2 authors
An, S. J., and Almers, W. (2004). Tracking SNARE complex formation in live endocrine cells. Science 306, 1042–1046.
A journal article with 3 authors
Liu, D., Amagai, S., and Bricken, J. (2012). Science education. Engaging teachers, scientists, and multimedia to promote learning. Science 336, 1509.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Douglas, S. M., Dietz, H., Liedl, T., Högberg, B., Graf, F., and Shih, W. M. (2009). Self-assembly of DNA into nanoscale three-dimensional shapes. Nature 459, 414–418.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Sandén, B. I. (2011). Design of Multithreaded Software. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Sadrieh, A., and Ockenfels, A. eds. (2010). The Selten School of Behavioral Economics: A Collection of Essays in Honor of Reinhard Selten. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Schmitz-Valckenberg, S., Fleckenstein, M., Spaide, R., and Holz, F. G. (2010). “Autofluorescence Imaging,” in Medical Retina: Focus on Retinal Imaging Essentials in Ophthalmology., eds. F. G. Holz and R. Spaide (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer), 41–50.

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 Psychology.

Blog post
Fang, J. (2014). Hitchcock Flick Elicits Response in Brain-Injured Patient. 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 (1990). Strategic Bombers: B-2 Program Status and Current Issues. 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
Elizalde, K. (2014). Relationship between Latino adolescents and their mental health well-being: A quantitative study.

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
ADAM LIPTAK; Janet Roberts of The Times’s computer-assisted reporting unit contributed reporting for this series. She was assisted by Jack Styczynski, Anderson, D., Amster, L., Begg, J., Delaquérière, A., Jamison, S., et al. (2005). To More Inmates, Life Term Means Dying Behind Bars. New York Times, 11.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Blake, 2004).
This sentence cites two references (An and Almers, 2004; Blake, 2004).

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

  • Two authors: (An and Almers, 2004)
  • Three or more authors: (Douglas et al., 2009)

About the journal

Full journal titleFrontiers in Psychology
AbbreviationFront. Psychol.
ISSN (online)1664-1078
ScopeGeneral Psychology

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