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
Elert E (2014) Aetiology: Searching for schizophrenia’s roots. Nature 508:S2-3
A journal article with 2 authors
Jucker T, Coomes DA (2012) Comment on “Plant species richness and ecosystem multifunctionality in global drylands.” Science 337:155; author reply 155
A journal article with 3 authors
Ma L, Teruya-Feldstein J, Weinberg RA (2007) Tumour invasion and metastasis initiated by microRNA-10b in breast cancer. Nature 449:682–688
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Celikel R, McClintock RA, Roberts JR, et al (2003) Modulation of alpha-thrombin function by distinct interactions with platelet glycoprotein Ibalpha. Science 301:218–221

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bolstad WM, Curran JM (2016) Introduction to Bayesian Statistics, Third Edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Albrecht-Schmitt TE (ed) (2008) Organometallic and Coordination Chemistry of the Actinides. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
A chapter in an edited book
Thevenot J, Chen J, Finnilä M, et al (2015) Local Binary Patterns to Evaluate Trabecular Bone Structure from Micro-CT Data: Application to Studies of Human Osteoarthritis. In: Agapito L, Bronstein MM, Rother C (eds) Computer Vision - ECCV 2014 Workshops: Zurich, Switzerland, September 6-7 and 12, 2014, Proceedings, Part II. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 63–79

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
Hamilton K (2016) The US Needs To Improve Its Science Literacy, Says Astronaut Mae Jemison. 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 (1994) [Comments on DOD Data Center Consolidation Plan]. 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
Nye KM (2010) Crème de Pêche. 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
Hu W (2017) Navigating A City Forest: 280 Miles Of Scaffolding. New York Times A22

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Elert 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Jucker and Coomes 2012; Elert 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Jucker and Coomes 2012)
  • Three or more authors: (Celikel et al. 2003)

About the journal

Full journal titleSpringerPlus
ISSN (online)2193-1801

Other styles