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
Melino, G. (2001). The Sirens’ song. Nature 412, 23.
A journal article with 2 authors
Williams, R. J., and Martinez, N. D. (2000). Simple rules yield complex food webs. Nature 404, 180–183.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ho Choi, S., Kim, B., and Frisbie, C. D. (2008). Electrical resistance of long conjugated molecular wires. Science 320, 1482–1486.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Trocha, P., Karpov, M., Ganin, D., Pfeiffer, M. H. P., Kordts, A., Wolf, S., et al. (2018). Ultrafast optical ranging using microresonator soliton frequency combs. Science 359, 887–891.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Manuele, F. A. (2007). Advanced Safety Management Focusing on Z10 and Serious Injury Prevention. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Ferrier, J.-L., Bernard, A., Gusikhin, O., and Madani, K. eds. (2013). Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics: 8th International Conference, ICINCO 2011 Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands, July 28-31, 2011 Revised Selected Papers. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Kühn, H., Karst, F., and Heydeck, D. (2016). “Catalytic Multiplicity of 15-Lipoxygenase-1 Orthologs (ALOX15) of Different Species,” in Lipoxygenases in Inflammation, ed. D. Steinhilber (Cham: Springer International Publishing), 47–82.

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
Davis, J. (2015). Stem Cell Treatment Used To Cure Age-Related Blindness. 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). Higher Education: Challenges in Attracting International Students to the United States and Implications for Global Competitiveness. 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
Zepeda, S. (2012). Housing First assertive community treatment program for adults with schizophrenia and co-occurring substance abuse: A grant proposal.

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
David Goodman, J., and Baker, A. L. (2015). Police in Midtown Wound Suspect in Hammer Attacks. New York Times, A20.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Melino, 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Williams and Martinez, 2000; Melino, 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Williams and Martinez, 2000)
  • Three or more authors: (Trocha et al., 2018)

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