How to format your references using the Botany citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Botany. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Sohl, F. 2010. Planetary science. Revealing Titan’s interior. Science 327(5971): 1338–1339.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ezzati, M., and Riboli, E. 2012. Can noncommunicable diseases be prevented? Lessons from studies of populations and individuals. Science 337(6101): 1482–1487.
A journal article with 3 authors
Usami, Y., Wu, Y., and Göttlinger, H.G. 2015. SERINC3 and SERINC5 restrict HIV-1 infectivity and are counteracted by Nef. Nature 526(7572): 218–223.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Sliter, D.A., Martinez, J., Hao, L., Chen, X., Sun, N., Fischer, T.D., Burman, J.L., Li, Y., Zhang, Z., Narendra, D.P., Cai, H., Borsche, M., Klein, C., and Youle, R.J. 2018. Parkin and PINK1 mitigate STING-induced inflammation. Nature 561(7722): 258–262.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Baldi, P., Frasconi, P., and Smyth, P. 2002. Modeling the Internet and the Web: Probabilistic Methods and Algorithms. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Jain, P. 2015. Inflammation: Natural Resources and Its Applications. Edited ByR. Pandey and S.S. Shukla. Springer India, New Delhi.
A chapter in an edited book
Yousefnezhad, M., and Zhang, D. 2016. Decoding Visual Stimuli in Human Brain by Using Anatomical Pattern Analysis on fMRI Images. In Advances in Brain Inspired Cognitive Systems: 8th International Conference, BICS 2016, Beijing, China, November 28-30, 2016, Proceedings. Edited by C.-L. Liu, A. Hussain, B. Luo, K.C. Tan, Y. Zeng, and Z. Zhang. Springer International Publishing, Cham. pp. 47–57.

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 Botany.

Blog post
Luntz, S. 2015, January 4. A Rough Guide To Spotting Bad Science. IFLScience. Available from [accessed 30 October 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. 2009. Motor Carrier Safety: Reincarnating Commercial Vehicle Companies Pose Safety Threat to Motoring Public; Federal Safety Agency Has Initiated Efforts to Prevent Future Occurrences. 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
Chen, M.S. 2014. Emergency shelter for abused and neglected elders A grant proposal project. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

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
Wines, M., and Williams, T. 2014, February 7. Huge Leak of Coal Ash Slows at North Carolina Power Plant. New York Times: A11.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Sohl 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Sohl 2010; Ezzati and Riboli 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Ezzati and Riboli 2012)
  • Three or more authors: (Sliter et al. 2018)

About the journal

Full journal titleBotany
ISSN (print)1916-2790
ISSN (online)1916-2804
ScopeEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Plant Science

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