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
Kurth, R. 2005. Obituary: Maurice R. Hilleman (1919-2005). Nature 434(7037): 1083.
A journal article with 2 authors
Snir, Y., and Kamien, R.D. 2005. Entropically driven helix formation. Science 307(5712): 1067.
A journal article with 3 authors
Solov’yov, I.A., Domratcheva, T., and Schulten, K. 2014. Separation of photo-induced radical pair in cryptochrome to a functionally critical distance. Sci. Rep. 4: 3845.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Karoly, D.J., Braganza, K., Stott, P.A., Arblaster, J.M., Meehl, G.A., Broccoli, A.J., and Dixon, K.W. 2003. Detection of a human influence on North American climate. Science 302(5648): 1200–1203.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Eggert, H., and Kauschke, W. 2012. Structural Bearings. Ernst & Sohn Verlag für Architektur und technische Wissenschaften GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin, Germany.
An edited book
Renaud, F.G., and Kuenzer, C. (Editors). 2012. The Mekong Delta System: Interdisciplinary Analyses of a River Delta. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht.
A chapter in an edited book
Winter, S.S., and Taube, J.S. 2014. Head Direction Cells: From Generation to Integration. In Space,Time and Memory in the Hippocampal Formation. Edited by D. Derdikman and J.J. Knierim. Springer, Vienna. pp. 83–106.

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
Evans, K. 2016, July 19. We Don’t Need To Cut Down Forests To Produce More Food, Says UN Report. 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. 1974. Federal Programs for Education of the Handicapped: Issues and Problems. 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
Adelman, S.W. 2009. Early childhood nutritional responses to targeted food aid and social network disruptions in Ugandan internally displaced person’s camps. Doctoral dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, MD.

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
Rothenberg, B. 2016, September 15. Behind Drug Exemption, Questions About a Doctor. New York Times: B11.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Kurth 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Snir and Kamien 2005; Kurth 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Snir and Kamien 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (Karoly et al. 2003)

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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