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
Curchoe CL (2015) The power of mentoring. Science 350:478
A journal article with 2 authors
Fitter AH, Fitter RSR (2002) Rapid changes in flowering time in British plants. Science 296:1689–1691
A journal article with 3 authors
Janjić V, Sharan R, Pržulj N (2014) Modelling the yeast interactome. Sci Rep 4:4273
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Mortuza GB, Haire LF, Stevens A, et al (2004) High-resolution structure of a retroviral capsid hexameric amino-terminal domain. Nature 431:481–485

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Dunnivant FM (2004) Environmental Laboratory Exercises for Instrumental Analysis and Environmental Chemistry. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Gambescia SF (2005) Managing A Public Speaker Bureau: A Manual for Health and Human Services Organizations. Springer US, Boston, MA
A chapter in an edited book
Martens K, Wolf KD (2009) Boomerangs and Trojan Horses: The Unintended Consequences of Internationalising Education Policy Through the EU and the OECD. In: Amaral A, Neave G, Musselin C, Maassen P (eds) European Integration and the Governance of Higher Education and Research. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp 81–107

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
Andrew E (2015) Poll Results Show Disparity Between Scientists And American Public On Scientific Issues. 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 (2014) Federal Software Licenses: Most Agencies Have Reported Planned Actions to Address Our Prior Recommendations on Software License Management. 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
Senk JM (2015) The life stories of women warriors: An exploratory study of female student-veterans balancing the transition to college. Doctoral dissertation, Pepperdine 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
Kenigsberg B (2017) Read All About It, If You Still Can. New York Times C10

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Curchoe 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Fitter and Fitter 2002; Curchoe 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Fitter and Fitter 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Mortuza et al. 2004)

About the journal

Full journal titleSpringerPlus
ISSN (online)2193-1801

Other styles