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
Ahlquist, P. (2002). RNA-dependent RNA polymerases, viruses, and RNA silencing. Science 296, 1270–1273.
A journal article with 2 authors
Surani, A., and Smith, J. (2007). Obituary: Anne McLaren (1927-2007). Nature 448, 764–765.
A journal article with 3 authors
Attardo, A., Fitzgerald, J. E., and Schnitzer, M. J. (2015). Impermanence of dendritic spines in live adult CA1 hippocampus. Nature 523, 592–596.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Wildermuth, S., Hofferberth, S., Lesanovsky, I., Haller, E., Andersson, L. M., Groth, S., et al. (2005). Bose-Einstein condensates: microscopic magnetic-field imaging. Nature 435, 440.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Gasser, W., Heiner, E., and Elk, K. (2005). Greensche Funktionen in Festkörper- und Vielteilchenphysik. Weinheim, FRG: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Yamamoto, S. ed. (2015). Human Interface and the Management of Information. Information and Knowledge in Context: 17th International Conference, HCI International 2015, Los Angeles, CA, USA, August 2-7, 2015, Proceedings, Part II. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Bylina, J., Bylina, B., Zoła, A., and Skaraczyński, T. (2009). “A Markovian Model of a Call Center with Time Varying Arrival Rate and Skill Based Routing,” in Computer Networks: 16th Conference, CN 2009, Wisła, Poland, June 16-20, 2009. Proceedings Communications in Computer and Information Science., eds. A. Kwiecień, P. Gaj, and P. Stera (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer), 26–33.

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
Hamilton, K. (2016). By Jupiter, What We Know Of The Gas Giant So Far. 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 (1968). Significant Areas in Which GAO Has Been Engaged. 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
Wester, A. M. (2013). Readers’ trust, socio-demographic, and acuity influences in citizen journalism credibility for disrupted online newspapers.

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
Hofmann, P., and Leland, J. (2017). Urban Pastoral. New York Times, MB7.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Ahlquist, 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Ahlquist, 2002; Surani and Smith, 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Surani and Smith, 2007)
  • Three or more authors: (Wildermuth et al., 2005)

About the journal

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

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