How to format your references using the PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 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
Smaglik P. Turning oil into science: Norway. Nature. 2002;420: A13, A15.
A journal article with 2 authors
Laage D, Hynes JT. A molecular jump mechanism of water reorientation. Science. 2006;311: 832–835.
A journal article with 3 authors
Sreekanth KV, De Luca A, Strangi G. Experimental demonstration of surface and bulk plasmon polaritons in hypergratings. Sci Rep. 2013;3: 3291.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Lee J, Hamada S, Hwang SU, Amin R, Son J, Dugasani SR, et al. Quantitative analysis of molecular-level DNA crystal growth on a 2D surface. Sci Rep. 2013;3: 2115.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Minoli D. Mobile Video with Mobile IPv6. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2012.
An edited book
Smith FO, Reaman GH, Racadio JM, editors. Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation in Children with Cancer. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2014.
A chapter in an edited book
Date Y. The Vagus Nerve and Ghrelin Function. In: Portelli J, Smolders I, editors. Central Functions of the Ghrelin Receptor. New York, NY: Springer; 2014. pp. 53–61.

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 Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Blog post
Andrew E. Mystery Virus That Turned Millions Of Starfish Into Goo Is Finally Identified. In: IFLScience [Internet]. IFLScience; 17 Nov 2014 [cited 30 Oct 2018]. Available:


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. Army Airlift: Need To Use Air Lines of Communications for Essential Items. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1987 Jul. Report No.: NSIAD-87-184.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Bourne BB. Phenomenological study of response to organizational change: Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. Doctoral dissertation, University of Phoenix. 2009.

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
Vecsey G. A Personal Loss for a Hofstra Alumnus. New York Times. 4 Dec 2009: B19.

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 Neglected Tropical Diseases
AbbreviationPLoS Negl. Trop. Dis.
ISSN (online)1935-2735
ScopeInfectious Diseases
Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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