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
Caldwell M (2007) Careers in behavioral science. Neuromarketing careers. Science 316:1060–1061
A journal article with 2 authors
Pellettieri J, Seydoux G (2002) Anterior-posterior polarity in C. elegans and Drosophila--PARallels and differences. Science 298:1946–1950
A journal article with 3 authors
Xu B, Wang Q, Tian Y (2013) Bulk modulus for polar covalent crystals. Sci Rep 3:3068
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Wang Q, Zhang Y, Yang C, et al (2010) Acetylation of metabolic enzymes coordinates carbon source utilization and metabolic flux. Science 327:1004–1007

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Scharf T (2006) Polarized Light in Liquid Crystals and Polymers. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
D’Août K, Vereecke EE (eds) (2011) Primate Locomotion: Linking Field and Laboratory Research. Springer, New York, NY
A chapter in an edited book
Chue KL (2015) Examining the Influence of the Big Five Personality Traits on the Relationship Between Autonomy, Motivation and Academic Achievement in the Twenty-First-Century Learner. In: Koh C (ed) Motivation, Leadership and Curriculum design: Engaging the Net Generation and 21st Century Learners. Springer, Singapore, pp 37–52

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
Fang J (2015) Scientists Teach Birds The “Language” Of Another Bird Species. 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 (2000) Space Station: Russian Compliance With Safety Requirements. 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
Garcia R (2010) The California State University education doctorate: Public policy for the public good. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach

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
Tierney J (2016) The Perfect Gift? It’s the One They Asked For. New York Times D1

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Caldwell 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Pellettieri and Seydoux 2002; Caldwell 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Pellettieri and Seydoux 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Wang et al. 2010)

About the journal

Full journal titleSpringerPlus
ISSN (online)2193-1801

Other styles