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
Hall, A. (2014). Climate. Projecting regional change. Science 346, 1461–1462.
A journal article with 2 authors
Smyth, M. J., and Kershaw, M. H. (2011). Immunology. The adjuvant effects of antibodies. Science 333, 944–945.
A journal article with 3 authors
McLeod, P., Reed, N., and Dienes, Z. (2003). Psychophysics: how fielders arrive in time to catch the ball. Nature 426, 244–245.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Vo, M.-N., Terrey, M., Lee, J. W., Roy, B., Moresco, J. J., Sun, L., et al. (2018). Publisher Correction: ANKRD16 prevents neuron loss caused by an editing-defective tRNA synthetase. Nature 560, E35.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Anstädt, T., Keller, I., and Lutz, H. (2010). Intelligente Videoanalyse. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Allhoff, F., and Lin, P. eds. (2009). Nanotechnology & Society: Current and Emerging Ethical Issues. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Xiang, Q., Yin, R., Xu, J., and Deng, X. (2009). “Modeling the Driving Forces of the Land Use and Land Cover Changes Along the Upper Yangtze River,” in An Integrated Assessment of China’s Ecological Restoration Programs, ed. R. Yin (Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands), 69–84.

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). Scientists Have Genetically Engineered Dogs To Make Them More Muscly. 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 (1970). Claim for Reimbursement for State Taxes. 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
Ziv, A. (2014). Dynamics in interactions with digital technology: A depth psychological/theoretical exploration of the evolutionary-biological, symbolic, and emotional psyche in the digital age.

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
Kelly, M. (1992). THE 1992 CAMPAIGN: A Photo Opportunity; Serendipity or Not, Truck Full of Spuds Becomes a Star. New York Times, A18.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Hall, 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Smyth and Kershaw, 2011; Hall, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Smyth and Kershaw, 2011)
  • Three or more authors: (Vo et al., 2018)

About the journal

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

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