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
Spudis, P.D., 2001. Planetary science. What is the Moon made of? Science 293, 1779–1781.
A journal article with 2 authors
Engelberg-Kulka, H., Hazan, R., 2003. Microbiology. Cannibals defy starvation and avoid sporulation. Science 301, 467–468.
A journal article with 3 authors
Bradley, J., Reuter, D., Frings, S., 2001. Facilitation of calmodulin-mediated odor adaptation by cAMP-gated channel subunits. Science 294, 2176–2178.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Yan, Y., Liao, Z.-M., Zhou, Y.-B., Wu, H.-C., Bie, Y.-Q., Chen, J.-J., Meng, J., Wu, X.-S., Yu, D.-P., 2013. Synthesis and quantum transport properties of Bi₂Se₃ topological insulator nanostructures. Sci. Rep. 3, 1264.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Furmston, M., 2012. Powell-Smith and Furmston’s Building Contract Casebook. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK.
An edited book
Chakrabarti, A., Sharma, N., Balas, V.E. (Eds.), 2016. Advances in Computing Applications. Springer, Singapore.
A chapter in an edited book
Bahadur, R., Samuels, W.B., 2011. Wastewater Critical Infrastructure Security and Protection, in: Clark, R.M., Hakim, S., Ostfeld, A. (Eds.), Handbook of Water and Wastewater Systems Protection. Springer, New York, NY, pp. 87–102.

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
Hamilton, K., 2016. Poaching Increases African Elephants Born Without Tusks [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, 1999. Student Loans: Default Rates Need To Be Computed More Appropriately (No. HEHS-99-135). 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
Ismail, A.-R., 2009. Assessing the relationship between the Internet, radio frequency identifier (RFID), and information technology (IT) flexibility: A correlational study and findings (Doctoral dissertation). Capella University, Minneapolis, MN.

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
Davey, M., 2017. Drop in Violence Gives a City Hope. New York Times A1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Spudis, 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Engelberg-Kulka and Hazan, 2003; Spudis, 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Engelberg-Kulka and Hazan, 2003)
  • Three or more authors: (Yan et al., 2013)

About the journal

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

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