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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Frontiers in Systems Physiology. 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
Timusk, T. (2003). Obituary: Bertram N. Brockhouse (1918-2003). Nature 426, 617.
A journal article with 2 authors
Min, J.-H., and Pavletich, N. P. (2007). Recognition of DNA damage by the Rad4 nucleotide excision repair protein. Nature 449, 570–575.
A journal article with 3 authors
Li, A., Wu, B., and Wang, L. (2014). Cooperation with both synergistic and local interactions can be worse than each alone. Sci. Rep. 4, 5536.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Mao, G., Perea, R. F., Howells, W. S., Price, D. L., and Saboungi, M. L. (2000). Relaxation in polymer electrolytes on the nanosecond timescale. Nature 405, 163–165.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Eichhorn, M. P. (2016). Natural Systems. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Padois, V., Bidaud, P., and Khatib, O. eds. (2013). Romansy 19 – Robot Design, Dynamics and Control: Proceedings of the 19th CISM-Iftomm Symposium. Vienna: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
UNEP (2009). “Aid for Trade for Sustainable Development,” in Aid for Trade: Global and Regional Perspectives: 2007 World Report on Regional Integration, eds. P. D. Lombaerde and L. Puri (Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands), 87–98.

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 Physiology.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2015). Smoking Cigarettes Is Associated With An Increased Risk Of Psychosis. 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 (2010). Highway Research: The Second Strategic Highway Research Program Addresses the Four Required Areas, but Some Anticipated Research Was Not Funded. 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
Hernandez, A. (2012). Impact of the Child and Family Services Improvement Act of 2006 on monthly caseworker visits to children in Los Angeles County on California’s foster care system.

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
Williams, J. (2017). Hey, Modernity, They’re Just Not Into You. New York Times, C2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Timusk, 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Timusk, 2003; Min and Pavletich, 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Min and Pavletich, 2007)
  • Three or more authors: (Mao et al., 2000)

About the journal

Full journal titleFrontiers in Systems Physiology
AbbreviationFront. Physiol.
ISSN (online)1664-042X
Physiology (medical)

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