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
Boyer P (2008) Being human: Religion: bound to believe? Nature 455:1038–1039
A journal article with 2 authors
Silk J, Chluba J (2014) Astronomy. Next steps for cosmology. Science 344:586–588
A journal article with 3 authors
Sambarey A, Prashanthi K, Chandra N (2013) Mining large-scale response networks reveals “topmost activities” in Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. Sci Rep 3:2302
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Baudrier-Raybaut M, Haïdar R, Kupecek P, et al (2004) Random quasi-phase-matching in bulk polycrystalline isotropic nonlinear materials. Nature 432:374–376

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chappell D (2008) The JCT Design and Build Contract 2005. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford, UK
An edited book
Ackers P, Reid AJ (eds) (2016) Alternatives to State-Socialism in Britain: Other Worlds of Labour in the Twentieth Century. Springer International Publishing, Cham
A chapter in an edited book
Hara H, Kato Y, Ichinose G, Irle S (2012) QM/MD Simulations of High-Temperature SWCNT Self-capping. In: Zeng J, Zhang R-Q, Treutlein HR (eds) Quantum Simulations of Materials and Biological Systems. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp 53–68

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
Andrews R (2015) Incredible New Images Of Jupiter Reveal Details Behind Shrinking Great Red Spot. 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 (1979) The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare’s Professional Standards Review Organization Program. 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
Guillory MK (2017) An Analysis of Corporal Punishment Practices in the State of Tennessee. Doctoral dissertation, University of Louisiana

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
Cooper M (2017) Met Opera Loses Lead In a High-Stakes ‘Tosca.’ New York Times C3

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Boyer 2008).
This sentence cites two references (Boyer 2008; Silk and Chluba 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Silk and Chluba 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Baudrier-Raybaut et al. 2004)

About the journal

Full journal titleSpringerPlus
ISSN (online)2193-1801

Other styles