How to format your references using the SpringerPlus citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for SpringerPlus. 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
Hertwig R (2012) Psychology. Tapping into the wisdom of the crowd--with confidence. Science 336:303–304
A journal article with 2 authors
Lutter CK, Lutter R (2012) Fetal and early childhood undernutrition, mortality, and lifelong health. Science 337:1495–1499
A journal article with 3 authors
Chonan S, Kato S, Aoki T (2014) Efficient single-mode photon-coupling device utilizing a nanofiber tip. Sci Rep 4:4785
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Zwierlein MW, Schirotzek A, Schunck CH, Ketterle W (2006) Fermionic superfluidity with imbalanced spin populations. Science 311:492–496

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Angueira P, Romo JA (2012) Microwave Line of Sight Link Engineering. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Asch J, Joye A (eds) (2006) Mathematical Physics of Quantum Mechanics: Selected and Refereed Lectures from QMath9. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
A chapter in an edited book
Chalmers N (2007) Sites of Arterial Access and the Role of Closure Devices in Percutaneous Arterial Intervention. In: Cowling MG (ed) Vascular Interventional Radiology: Angioplasty, Stenting, Thrombolysis and Thrombectomy. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 21–28

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 SpringerPlus.

Blog post
Carpineti A (2016) Rosetta Mission To End With Crash Landing On September 30. In: IFLScience. Accessed 30 Oct 2018


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 (2003) Information Technology: FBI Needs an Enterprise Architecture to Guide Its Modernization Activities. 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
Saifman HP (2017) Millennial Nurse Manager Perspectives on Their Leadership Roles in the Hospital Setting: A Phenomenological Inquiry. Doctoral dissertation, Florida Atlantic University

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 (2010) Bustling Booth Becomes Waypoint In Ashe’s Legacy. New York Times SP7

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Hertwig 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Hertwig 2012; Lutter and Lutter 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Lutter and Lutter 2012)
  • Three or more authors: (Zwierlein et al. 2006)

About the journal

Full journal titleSpringerPlus
ISSN (online)2193-1801

Other styles