How to format your references using the Microbiology Spectrum citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Microbiology Spectrum. 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
Yantis S. 2003. Neuroscience. To see is to attend. Science 299:54–56.
A journal article with 2 authors
Kleinberg J, Lawrence S. 2001. Network analysis. The structure of the Web. Science 294:1849–1850.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ivany LC, Patterson WP, Lohmann KC. 2000. Cooler winters as a possible cause of mass extinctions at the Eocene/Oligocene boundary. Nature 407:887–890.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Kirkegaard T, Roth AG, Petersen NHT, Mahalka AK, Olsen OD, Moilanen I, Zylicz A, Knudsen J, Sandhoff K, Arenz C, Kinnunen PKJ, Nylandsted J, Jäättelä M. 2010. Hsp70 stabilizes lysosomes and reverts Niemann-Pick disease-associated lysosomal pathology. Nature 463:549–553.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Le Bodic G. 2005. Mobile Messaging Technologies and Services. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
2011. The Juvenile Skeleton in Forensic Abuse Investigations. Humana Press, Totowa, NJ.
A chapter in an edited book
Bayer AL, Malek TR. 2008. The Role of IL-2 in the Development and Peripheral Homeostasis of Naturally Occurring CD4 + CD25 + Foxp3 + Regulatory T Cells, p. 57–76. In Jiang, S (ed.), Regulatory T Cells and Clinical Application. Springer US, New York, NY.

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 Microbiology Spectrum.

Blog post
Fang J. 2014. Sturdy 3D Material Behaves Like Graphene. IFLScience. 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. 2011. Business Systems Modernization: Internal Revenue Service’s Fiscal Year 2011 Expenditure Plan. GAO-12-26. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Farooq AS. 2012. Singing the blues: Indicators of mental illness among nursing home elderly. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

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
Pennington B, Belson K. 2017. Panthers’ Newton Stands Out in a Quieter Week of Player Protests. New York Times.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (1).
This sentence cites two references (1, 2).
This sentence cites four references (1–4).

About the journal

Full journal titleMicrobiology Spectrum
AbbreviationMicrobiol. Spectr.
ISSN (online)2165-0497
ScopeCell Biology
General Immunology and Microbiology
Infectious Diseases
Microbiology (medical)

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