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
McGill, B., 2015. Biodiversity: Land use matters. Nature 520, 38–39.
A journal article with 2 authors
Thomas, G.L., Thorne, R.E., 2001. Night-time predation by Steller sea lions. Nature 411, 1013.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ahissar, E., Sosnik, R., Haidarliu, S., 2000. Transformation from temporal to rate coding in a somatosensory thalamocortical pathway. Nature 406, 302–306.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Liu, Q., Xin, W., He, P., Turner, D., Yin, J., Gan, Y., Shi, F.-D., Wu, J., 2014. Interleukin-17 inhibits adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Sci. Rep. 4, 7554.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bonneau, D., Fatu, A., Souchet, D., 2014. Mixed Lubrication in Hydrodynamic Bearings. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Agarwal, A., 2016. Proteomics in Human Reproduction: Biomarkers for Millennials, SpringerBriefs in Reproductive Biology. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Pollice, S., Morlino, G., Capuano, M., Scarabino, T., 2012. Future Developments, in: Scarabino, T. (Ed.), Imaging Gliomas After Treatment: A Case-Based Atlas. Springer, Milano, pp. 23–24.

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
Andrew, E., 2015. Why GM Food is so Hard to Sell to a Wary Public [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, 1989. Reports Issued in July 1989 (No. 139352). 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
Cornejo, V.M., 2010. Teachers’ perceptions about promoting mental health in the classroom (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
Hollander, S., 1999. Inspiring Without Saying a Word. New York Times F3.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (McGill, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (McGill, 2015; Thomas and Thorne, 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Thomas and Thorne, 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Liu et al., 2014)

About the journal

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

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