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
Chapron, G. 2014. Challenge the abuse of science in setting policy. Nature 516(7531): 289.
A journal article with 2 authors
Rashid, H., and Boyle, E.A. 2007. Mixed-layer deepening during Heinrich events: a multi-planktonic foraminiferal delta18O approach. Science 318(5849): 439–441.
A journal article with 3 authors
Schall, P., Weitz, D.A., and Spaepen, F. 2007. Structural rearrangements that govern flow in colloidal glasses. Science 318(5858): 1895–1899.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Kundu, B., Schlimp, C.J., Nürnberger, S., Redl, H., and Kundu, S.C. 2014. Thromboelastometric and platelet responses to silk biomaterials. Sci. Rep. 4: 4945.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Anderson, J.B., and Johannesson, R. 2005. Understanding Information Transmission. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Margottini, C., Canuti, P., and Sassa, K. (Editors). 2013. Landslide Science and Practice: Volume 2: Early Warning, Instrumentation and Monitoring. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Thomas, E. 2011. Characteristic classes and differentiable manifolds. In Classi caratteristiche e questioni connesse. Edited by E. Martinelli. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. pp. 113–187.

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, March 31. New Paper Suggests Tatooine-type Planets Could Be Common. 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. 1980. Central Agencies’ Compliance With OMB Circular A-71, Transmittal Memorandum No. 1. 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
Redcay, J.D. 2014. Kindergarten students’ reading performance and perceptions of Ludus Reading: A mixed-method study. Doctoral dissertation, University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ.

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
Barron, J. 2017, February 12. Nine Million Desserts, for Gabriel, Michael, Alessandra and More. New York Times: A21.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Chapron 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Rashid and Boyle 2007; Chapron 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Rashid and Boyle 2007)
  • Three or more authors: (Kundu et al. 2014)

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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