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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience. 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
Cole, A. A. (2000). ASTRONOMY: The Distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud. Science 289, 1149–1150.
A journal article with 2 authors
Showalter, M. R., and Hamilton, D. P. (2015). Resonant interactions and chaotic rotation of Pluto’s small moons. Nature 522, 45–49.
A journal article with 3 authors
Vidale, J. E., Dodge, D. A., and Earle, P. S. (2000). Slow differential rotation of the Earth’s inner core indicated by temporal changes in scattering. Nature 405, 445–448.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Ma, C., Liu, M., Chen, C., Lin, Y., Li, Y., Horwitz, J. S., et al. (2013). The origin of local strain in highly epitaxial oxide thin films. Sci. Rep. 3, 3092.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Vanbésien, O. (2012). Artificial Materials. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Munteanu, L. (2005). Introduction to Soliton Theory: Applications to Mechanics. , ed. S. Donescu Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Bowers, A., and Kalton, N. J. (2014). “Consequences of Convexity,” in An Introductory Course in Functional Analysis Universitext., ed. N. J. Kalton (New York, NY: Springer), 83–127.

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 Systems Neuroscience.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2015). 2014, The Year That Was: Health + Medicine. 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 (2006). Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Improved Planning and Acquisition Strategies Can Help Address Operational Challenges. 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
Tourijigian, L. (2015). Fiscal Changes at Dunbar Elementary.

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
Neuman, W. (2015). Fleeing an Uncertain Future in Venezuela. New York Times, A4.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Cole, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Cole, 2000; Showalter and Hamilton, 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Showalter and Hamilton, 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Ma et al., 2013)

About the journal

Full journal titleFrontiers in Systems Neuroscience
AbbreviationFront. Syst. Neurosci.
ISSN (online)1662-5137
ScopeNeuroscience (miscellaneous)
Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Cognitive Neuroscience
Developmental Neuroscience

Other styles