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
Zupanc GKH. 2006. Obituary: Theodore H. Bullock (1915-2005). Nature 439:280.
A journal article with 2 authors
Meister G, Tuschl T. 2004. Mechanisms of gene silencing by double-stranded RNA. Nature 431:343–349.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kushiro T, Nambara E, McCourt P. 2003. Hormone evolution: The key to signalling. Nature 422:122.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Vigolo B, Coulon C, Maugey M, Zakri C, Poulin P. 2005. An experimental approach to the percolation of sticky nanotubes. Science 309:920–923.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Mazar Madjar H. 2016. Radio Spectrum Management. John Wiley &;#38; Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
2012. The Philosophy of Computer Games. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht.
A chapter in an edited book
Taylor J. 2013. Emotional Sensations and the Moral Imagination in Malebranche, p. 63–83. In Lloyd, HM (ed.), The Discourse of Sensibility: The Knowing Body in the Enlightenment. Springer International Publishing, Cham.

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
Andrew E. 2015. Ten Years On, Invisibility Cloaks Are Close To Becoming A Manufacturable Reality. 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. 1991. Medical Residents: Options Exist to Make Student Loan Payments Manageable. HRD-92-21. 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
Otarola AC. 2008. The effects of turbulence in an absorbing atmosphere on the propagation of microwave signals used in an active sounding system. Doctoral dissertation, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

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
Hu W. 2016. New Bronx District Attorney Fixes Her Sights on Rikers Island Cases. 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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