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
Blow, N. 2008. Metabolomics: Biochemistry’s new look. Nature 455(7213): 697–700.
A journal article with 2 authors
Overpeck, J., and Udall, B. 2010. Climate change. Dry times ahead. Science 328(5986): 1642–1643.
A journal article with 3 authors
Tersoff, J., Jesson, D.E., and Tang, W.X. 2009. Running droplets of gallium from evaporation of gallium arsenide. Science 324(5924): 236–238.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Ma, Z., Wang, Y., Sun, C., Alonso, J.A., Fernández-Díaz, M.T., and Chen, L. 2014. Experimental visualization of the diffusion pathway of sodium ions in the Na3[Ti2P2O10F] anode for sodium-ion battery. Sci. Rep. 4: 7231.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hill, R., and Solt, G. 2010. Engineering Money. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Yahav, E. (Editor). 2014. Hardware and Software: Verification and Testing: 10th International Haifa Verification Conference, HVC 2014, Haifa, Israel, November 18-20, 2014. Proceedings. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Jardetzky, O., and Finucane, M.D. 2007. Tandem Interactions in the trp Repressor System may Regulate Binding to Operator DNA. In Structure and Biophysics – New Technologies for Current Challenges in Biology and Beyond. Edited by J. Puglisi. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht. pp. 49–64.

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
Andrew, E. 2014, August 5. Elephants Get Really Excited When Others Mate. 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. 1978. The Air Force Continued To Develop the Advanced Logistics System, a Program It Was Directed To Cancel. 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
Potter, R.H. 2009. Diffusion of oxygen and lithium isotopes at a contact between the Bushveld Complex and metasedimentary rock: Implications for the timescale of Phepane Dome diapirism. 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
Belson, K., and Pilon, M. 2012, June 29. After Tying in 100, Advancing in 200. New York Times: B10.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Blow 2008).
This sentence cites two references (Blow 2008; Overpeck and Udall 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Overpeck and Udall 2010)
  • Three or more authors: (Ma 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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