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
Wright AR. Realising Haldane’s vision for a Chern insulator in buckled lattices. Sci Rep. 2013;3: 2736.
A journal article with 2 authors
Sharp WD, Clague DA. 50-Ma initiation of Hawaiian-Emperor bend records major change in Pacific plate motion. Science. 2006;313: 1281–1284.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kirn TJ, Jude BA, Taylor RK. A colonization factor links Vibrio cholerae environmental survival and human infection. Nature. 2005;438: 863–866.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Choi KS, Deng H, Laurat J, Kimble HJ. Mapping photonic entanglement into and out of a quantum memory. Nature. 2008;452: 67–71.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Britton M. YouthNation. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc; 2015.
An edited book
Apolloni B, Marinaro M, Tagliaferri R, editors. Biological and Artificial Intelligence Environments: 15th Italian Workshop on Neural Nets, WIRN VIETRI 2004. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands; 2005.
A chapter in an edited book
Ziarnik EM, Nesbitt JC. Chyle Leak After Esophageal Surgery. In: Pawlik TM, Maithel SK, Merchant NB, editors. Gastrointestinal Surgery: Management of Complex Perioperative Complications. New York, NY: Springer; 2015. pp. 53–64.

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
Davis J. Green Light Given To Construction Of World’s Largest Floating Wind Farm Off Coast Of Scotland. In: IFLScience. IFLScience; 18 May 2016.


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. Ocean Research Fleet: NOAA Needs to Plan for Long-Term Fleet Requirements. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1989 Nov. Report No.: RCED-90-42.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Ackerina J. The call of public service: Motivation and professional commitment in education. Doctoral dissertation, Florida Atlantic University. 2012.

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
Walsh MW. New Pension Rules Seek Disclosure. New York Times. 25 Jun 2012: B1.

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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