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
Jerolmack, D. J. (2013). Planetary science. Pebbles on Mars. Science 340, 1055–1056.
A journal article with 2 authors
Stark, J., and Hardy, K. (2003). Mathematics. Chaos: useful at last? Science 301, 1192–1193.
A journal article with 3 authors
Zhang, Q., Li, Y., and Tsien, R. W. (2009). The dynamic control of kiss-and-run and vesicular reuse probed with single nanoparticles. Science 323, 1448–1453.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Stagno, V., Bindi, L., Shibazaki, Y., Tange, Y., Higo, Y., Mao, H.-K., et al. (2014). Icosahedral AlCuFe quasicrystal at high pressure and temperature and its implications for the stability of icosahedrite. Sci. Rep. 4, 5869.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Jay, S. A. (2006). High Voltage Electricity Installations. Chichester, England: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Ábrahám, E., and Havelund, K. eds. (2014). Tools and Algorithms for the Construction and Analysis of Systems: 20th International Conference, TACAS 2014, Held as Part of the European Joint Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software, ETAPS 2014, Grenoble, France, April 5-13, 2014. Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Sheng, Z., Dewilde, P., and Chandrasekaran, S. (2007). “Algorithms to Solve Hierarchically Semi-separable Systems,” in System Theory, the Schur Algorithm and Multidimensional Analysis Operator Theory: Advances and Applications., eds. D. Alpay and V. Vinnikov (Basel: Birkhäuser), 255–294.

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). Numbers On The Mind: How Maths Can Help Explain The Workings Of Our Brain. 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 (1998). Tax Systems Modernization: Blueprint Is a Good Start But Not Yet Sufficiently Complete to Build or Acquire Systems. 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
Mullen, C. R. (2017). Factors Influencing Canadian Power Engineers’ Decision to Pursue Advanced Certification.

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
Wagner, J. (2016). Walker Takes One-Year Deal, but Cespedes Tells Mets No. New York Times, B9.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Jerolmack, 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Stark and Hardy, 2003; Jerolmack, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Stark and Hardy, 2003)
  • Three or more authors: (Stagno et al., 2014)

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

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