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
Jasanoff, S., 2010. Science and society. Testing time for climate science. Science 328, 695–696.
A journal article with 2 authors
Liu, H.Y., Gao, X., 2013. A universal protein tag for delivery of SiRNA-aptamer chimeras. Sci. Rep. 3, 3129.
A journal article with 3 authors
Lovejoy, C.O., Heiple, K.G., Meindl, R.S., 2001. Palaeoanthropology: Did our ancestors knuckle-walk? Nature 410, 325–326.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Müller-Navarra, D.C., Brett, M.T., Liston, A.M., Goldman, C.R., 2000. A highly unsaturated fatty acid predicts carbon transfer between primary producers and consumers. Nature 403, 74–77.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hackshaw, A., 2010. How to Write a Grant Application. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK.
An edited book
Erdem, E., Lee, J., Lierler, Y., Pearce, D. (Eds.), 2012. Correct Reasoning: Essays on Logic-Based AI in Honour of Vladimir Lifschitz, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Murphy, G.M., Ralph, N., 2016. Photoprotection, Photoimmunology and Autoimmune Diseases, in: Wang, S.Q., Lim, H.W. (Eds.), Principles and Practice of Photoprotection. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp. 75–93.

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, D., 2017. Weekend Warrior Exercise: Is It Good For You? [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, 1995. Multiple Teacher Training Programs: Information on Budgets, Services, and Target Groups (No. HEHS-95-71FS). 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
Gwaduri, E., 2009. A personal narrative: Struggles and experiences of acculturation as a Pakistani Shia Muslim while battling immigration (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
Erlanger, S., Davis, J.H., 2017. Once Dominant, U.S. Is Now Isolated at G-20. 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 (Jasanoff, 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Jasanoff, 2010; Liu and Gao, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Liu and Gao, 2013)
  • Three or more authors: (Müller-Navarra et al., 2000)

About the journal

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

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