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
Roelfsema PR (2002) Do neurons predict the future? Science 295:227
A journal article with 2 authors
Weygand-Durasevic I, Ibba M (2010) Cell biology. New roles for codon usage. Science 329:1473–1474
A journal article with 3 authors
Obayashi M, Yoshimitsu J, Fukao Y (2009) Tearing of stagnant slab. Science 324:1173–1175
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Michael TP, Salomé PA, Yu HJ, et al (2003) Enhanced fitness conferred by naturally occurring variation in the circadian clock. Science 302:1049–1053

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Eric G. F, Yvonne R (2015) Growing Pains. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Dal Fabbro PA (2010) Linear CMOS RF Power Amplifiers for Wireless Applications: Efficiency Enhancement and Frequency-Tunable Capability. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht
A chapter in an edited book
Reichert M, Weber B (2012) Process Configuration Support. In: Weber B (ed) Enabling Flexibility in Process-Aware Information Systems: Challenges, Methods, Technologies. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 89–126

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
Taub B (2016) Activating The Brain’s “No-Go” Neurons Can Kill The Urge To Drink. 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 (2015) Information Technology: Additional OMB and Agency Actions Needed to Ensure Portfolio Savings Are Realized and Effectively Tracked. 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
Buckley M (2009) Weaving Into the Glimmer. 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
Saslow L (2008) Students Help Track Black Squirrels. New York Times LI2

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Roelfsema 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Roelfsema 2002; Weygand-Durasevic and Ibba 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Weygand-Durasevic and Ibba 2010)
  • Three or more authors: (Michael et al. 2003)

About the journal

Full journal titleSpringerPlus
ISSN (online)2193-1801

Other styles