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
Lerner, I.V. 2007. Physics. So small yet still giant. Science 316(5821): 63–64.
A journal article with 2 authors
Winograd, I.J., and Roseboom, E.H., Jr. 2008. Nuclear waste. Yucca Mountain revisited. Science 320(5882): 1426–1427.
A journal article with 3 authors
Sezen, U.U., Chazdon, R.L., and Holsinger, K.E. 2005. Genetic consequences of tropical second-growth forest regeneration. Science 307(5711): 891.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Skålén, K., Gustafsson, M., Rydberg, E.K., Hultén, L.M., Wiklund, O., Innerarity, T.L., and Borén, J. 2002. Subendothelial retention of atherogenic lipoproteins in early atherosclerosis. Nature 417(6890): 750–754.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Baher, H. 2012. Signal Processing and Integrated Circuits. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Feng, Z. 2015. Cognitive Wireless Networks. Edited ByQ. Zhang and P. Zhang. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Kurik, L., Kalamees, T., and Kallavus, U. 2016. Diagnosis of Moisture Movements in Massive Dolostone Walls of Medieval Churches. In Recent Developments in Building Diagnosis Techniques. Edited by J.M.P.Q. Delgado. Springer, Singapore. pp. 69–90.

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
Andrews, R. 2017, January 1. 16 Awesome New Things We Learned In 2016. 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. 1991. Supercomputing in Industry. 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
Almasaari, A.H. 2017. Arab American women’s identity crises in Mohja Kahf’s “The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf” and Laila Halaby’s “West of the Jordan.” 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
Kishkovsky, S. 1998, November 1. With a New Western Arrival, Moscow Rocks. New York Times: 235.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Lerner 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Lerner 2007; Winograd and Roseboom 2008).

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

  • Two authors: (Winograd and Roseboom 2008)
  • Three or more authors: (Skålén et al. 2002)

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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