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
Koen D. Nuts and bolts. Online applications. Nature. 2005;433: 90.
A journal article with 2 authors
Schnell JR, Chou JJ. Structure and mechanism of the M2 proton channel of influenza A virus. Nature. 2008;451: 591–595.
A journal article with 3 authors
Sharam GJ, Sinclair ARE, Turkington R. Serengeti birds maintain forests by inhibiting seed predators. Science. 2009;325: 51.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Grimson A, Srivastava M, Fahey B, Woodcroft BJ, Chiang HR, King N, et al. Early origins and evolution of microRNAs and Piwi-interacting RNAs in animals. Nature. 2008;455: 1193–1197.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Russell LCR, Hodgetts CTJ, Mahoney CPF, Castle N. Disaster Rules. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell; 2010.
An edited book
Alós-Ferrer C. The Theory of Extensive Form Games. Ritzberger K, editor. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
Niane LM, Bairam A. Age-Dependent Changes in Breathing Stability in Rats. In: Nurse CA, Gonzalez C, Peers C, Prabhakar N, editors. Arterial Chemoreception: From Molecules to Systems. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands; 2012. pp. 37–41.

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. Watch Live Webcast Of Thursday’s Partial Solar Eclipse. In: IFLScience [Internet]. IFLScience; 17 Oct 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. Air Traffic Control: Efforts to Expand the New York Terminal Area Automation System. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1988 Jul. Report No.: IMTEC-88-29.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Selis AH. Holding the center: How one Jewish day school negotiates differences in a pluralistic community. Doctoral dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park. 2010.

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
Branch J. The Rules of Olympic Attraction. New York Times. 13 Aug 2016: ST8.

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

Other styles