How to format your references using the PLOS Genetics citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for PLOS Genetics. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
1.
van den Bogaard P. The origin of the Canary Island Seamount Province - new ages of old seamounts. Sci Rep. 2013;3: 2107.
A journal article with 2 authors
1.
Al Khawaja U, Stoof H. Skyrmions in a ferromagnetic Bose-Einstein condensate. Nature. 2001;411: 918–920.
A journal article with 3 authors
1.
Wurmser AE, Palmer TD, Gage FH. Neuroscience. Cellular interactions in the stem cell niche. Science. 2004;304: 1253–1255.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1.
Jin J, Li X, Gygi SP, Harper JW. Dual E1 activation systems for ubiquitin differentially regulate E2 enzyme charging. Nature. 2007;447: 1135–1138.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1.
Adamczyk B. Foundations of Electromagnetic Compatibility. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2017.
An edited book
1.
Behnassi M, Pollmann O, Kissinger G, editors. Sustainable Food Security in the Era of Local and Global Environmental Change. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands; 2013.
A chapter in an edited book
1.
Geweniger V, Bohlander A. The Exercises. In: Bohlander A, editor. Pilates − A Teachers’ Manual: Exercises with Mats and Equipment for Prevention and Rehabilitation. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2014. pp. 57–148.

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 PLOS Genetics.

Blog post
1.
Andrew E. Watch SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket Launch. In: IFLScience [Internet]. IFLScience; 10 Feb 2015 [cited 30 Oct 2018]. Available: https://www.iflscience.com/space/watch-spacexs-falcon9-rocket-launch/

Reports

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
1.
Government Accountability Office. Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2003 Jan. Report No.: GAO-03-114.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
1.
Benware A. The Roles of Teaching Experience and Authoritative Classroom Management Style on Student Discipline. Doctoral dissertation, Southern Illinois University. 2017.

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
1.
Wines M. Justices Face Wisconsin Case That Could Redraw Partisan Political Maps. New York Times. 1 Oct 2017: A16.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [1].
This sentence cites two references [1,2].
This sentence cites four references [1–4].

About the journal

Full journal titlePLOS Genetics
AbbreviationPLoS Genet.
ISSN (print)1553-7390
ISSN (online)1553-7404
ScopeEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Cancer Research
Genetics
Molecular Biology
Genetics(clinical)

Other styles