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
Sanderson, K., 2007. Display of flexibility. Nature 445, 473.
A journal article with 2 authors
Chen, M.S., White, M.C., 2007. A predictably selective aliphatic C-H oxidation reaction for complex molecule synthesis. Science 318, 783–787.
A journal article with 3 authors
Morais-Cabral, J.H., Zhou, Y., MacKinnon, R., 2001. Energetic optimization of ion conduction rate by the K+ selectivity filter. Nature 414, 37–42.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Reeves, E.P., Lu, H., Jacobs, H.L., Messina, C.G.M., Bolsover, S., Gabella, G., Potma, E.O., Warley, A., Roes, J., Segal, A.W., 2002. Killing activity of neutrophils is mediated through activation of proteases by K+ flux. Nature 416, 291–297.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Nash, J., 2013. Diabetes and Wellbeing. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK.
An edited book
Noble, S., 2009. WPF Recipes in C# 2008: A Problem-Solution Approach. Apress, Berkeley, CA.
A chapter in an edited book
Mercorelli, P., Frick, A., 2007. Industrial Applications Using Wavelet Packets for Gross Error Detection, in: Nedjah, N., Abraham, A., Mourelle, L. de M. (Eds.), Computational Intelligence in Information Assurance and Security, Studies in Computational Intelligence. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 89–127.

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
O`Callaghan, J., 2015. New Images Of Pluto From New Horizons Will Arrive This Week [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, 1993. Advanced Solid Rocket Motor Status (No. NSIAD-93-258R). 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
Williams, A.P., 2012. Reentry of Substance Abusing Female Ex-Offenders from Prison to an Urban Community (Doctoral dissertation). George Washington University, Washington, DC.

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
(nyt), S.K., 2003. World Briefing | Europe: Russia: Soldier Kills 4 Comrades, Then Himself. New York Times A12.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Sanderson, 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Chen and White, 2007; Sanderson, 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Chen and White, 2007)
  • Three or more authors: (Reeves et al., 2002)

About the journal

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

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