How to format your references using the Plasmid citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Plasmid. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Ledford, H., 2007. Taxi-cab teaching. Nature 445, 678–679.
A journal article with 2 authors
De Francesco, R., Migliaccio, G., 2005. Challenges and successes in developing new therapies for hepatitis C. Nature 436, 953–960.
A journal article with 3 authors
Rychert, C.A., Fischer, K.M., Rondenay, S., 2005. A sharp lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary imaged beneath eastern North America. Nature 436, 542–545.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Varcoe, B.T., Brattke, S., Weidinger, M., Walther, H., 2000. Preparing pure photon number states of the radiation field. Nature 403, 743–746.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Saksena, F.B., 2015. Patient Studies in Valvular, Congenital, and Rarer Forms of Cardiovascular Disease. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Trauth, E.M., Howcroft, D., Butler, T., Fitzgerald, B., DeGross, J.I. (Eds.), 2006. Social Inclusion: Societal and Organizational Implications for Information Systems: IFIP TC8 WG8.2 International Working Conference, July 12–15, 2006, Limerick, Ireland, IFIP International Federation for Information Processing. Springer US, Boston, MA.
A chapter in an edited book
Kalawate, A.S., 2014. Microbial Viral Insecticides, in: Sahayaraj, K. (Ed.), Basic and Applied Aspects of Biopesticides. Springer India, New Delhi, pp. 47–68.

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 Plasmid.

Blog post
Andrews, R., 2016. New Form Of Life In Human Saliva Is A Bacterial Parasite [WWW Document]. IFLScience. URL (accessed 10.30.18).


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, 2016. Unmanned Carrier-Based Aircraft System: Debate over System’s Role Led to Focus on Aerial Refueling (No. GAO-16-389R). 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
Gunathilaka, D., 2015. Compliance with dietary restrictions among African American older adults with chronic kidney disease in a nursing home setting (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
Crane, A.T., Hay, G., Larsen, P.T., 2011. Mortgage Market Due for Overhaul. New York Times B2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Ledford, 2007).
This sentence cites two references (De Francesco and Migliaccio, 2005; Ledford, 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (De Francesco and Migliaccio, 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (Varcoe et al., 2000)

About the journal

Full journal titlePlasmid
ISSN (print)0147-619X
ScopeMolecular Biology

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