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
Swarup, A. (2008). Science careers. Analyzing scientific investments. Science 322, 1266–1267.
A journal article with 2 authors
Edgar, B. A., and Kim, K. J. (2009). Cell biology. Sizing up the cell. Science 325, 158–159.
A journal article with 3 authors
Lam, E., Kato, N., and Lawton, M. (2001). Programmed cell death, mitochondria and the plant hypersensitive response. Nature 411, 848–853.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Vörösmarty, C. J., McIntyre, P. B., Gessner, M. O., Dudgeon, D., Prusevich, A., Green, P., et al. (2010). Global threats to human water security and river biodiversity. Nature 467, 555–561.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Qiu, R. G. (2014). Service Science. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Liang, Y. (2015). Silicon in Agriculture: From Theory to Practice. , eds. M. Nikolic, R. Bélanger, H. Gong, and A. Song Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Hautphenne, S., Latouche, G., and Nguyen, G. T. (2013). “Markovian Trees Subject to Catastrophes: Would They Survive Forever?,” in Matrix-Analytic Methods in Stochastic Models Springer Proceedings in Mathematics & Statistics., eds. G. Latouche, V. Ramaswami, J. Sethuraman, K. Sigman, M. S. Squillante, and D. D. Yao (New York, NY: Springer), 87–106.

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
Hale, T. (2016). The Helmeted Hornbill Is The Latest “Trend” In The Illegal Wildlife Trade. IFLScience.


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 (1988). Wallop-Breaux Trust Fund. 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
Lama, N. (2017). Optimized Veterinary Thermographic Image Classification using Support Vector Machines and Noise Mitigation.

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
(nyt), S. K. (2005). World Briefing | Europe: Russia: Last Regional Governor’s Election. New York Times, A7.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Swarup, 2008).
This sentence cites two references (Swarup, 2008; Edgar and Kim, 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Edgar and Kim, 2009)
  • Three or more authors: (Vörösmarty et al., 2010)

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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