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
Rokas, A. (2013). Genetics. My oldest sister is a sea walnut? Science 342, 1327–1329.
A journal article with 2 authors
Adam, D., and Butler, D. (2003). Comet mission hangs in the balance. Nature 421, 102.
A journal article with 3 authors
Saito, C., Shinzawa, K., and Tsujimoto, Y. (2014). Synchronized necrotic death of attached hepatocytes mediated via gap junctions. Sci. Rep. 4, 5169.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Côté, A. P., Benin, A. I., Ockwig, N. W., O’Keeffe, M., Matzger, A. J., and Yaghi, O. M. (2005). Porous, crystalline, covalent organic frameworks. Science 310, 1166–1170.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Sharon, M., and Sharon, M. (2015). Graphene. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Ghosh, A., and Jain, L. C. eds. (2005). Evolutionary Computation in Data Mining. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Cvijikj, I. P., and Michahelles, F. (2011). “The Toolkit Approach for End-user Participation in the Internet of Things,” in Architecting the Internet of Things, eds. D. Uckelmann, M. Harrison, and F. Michahelles (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer), 65–96.

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
Andrews, R. (2016). Younger Kaka Are Incredible Problem Solvers, Unlike Their Elders. 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 (2013). Intermodal Transportation: Results of GAO’s Survey on Air-Rail Connectivity (GAO-13-692SP, August 2013), an E-supplement to GAO-13-691. 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
Murphy, M. J. O. (2017). Cinéma Spirité: Dinner and Drinks at the Movies. New York Times, C8.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Rokas, 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Adam and Butler, 2003; Rokas, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Adam and Butler, 2003)
  • Three or more authors: (Côté et al., 2005)

About the journal

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

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