How to format your references using the Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Simonton, D.K. 2013. After Einstein: Scientific genius is extinct. Nature 493: 602.
A journal article with 2 authors
Strässer, K., and Hurt, E. 2001. Splicing factor Sub2p is required for nuclear mRNA export through its interaction with Yra1p. Nature 413: 648–652.
A journal article with 3 authors
Liu, H., Gao, J., and Zhao, J. 2013. From boron cluster to two-dimensional boron sheet on Cu(111) surface: growth mechanism and hole formation. Sci. Rep. 3: 3238.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Kandada, A.R.S., Grancini, G., Petrozza, A., Perissinotto, S., Fazzi, D., Raavi, S.S.K., and Lanzani, G. 2013. Ultrafast energy transfer in ultrathin organic donor/acceptor blend. Sci. Rep. 3: 2073.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hirsch, F., Kemp, J., and Ilkka, J. 2006. Mobile Web Services Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Grunewald, K. 2011. Landscape Development and Climate Change in Southwest Bulgaria (Pirin Mountains) Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Vaněk, O., Jakob, M., Hrstka, O., and Pěchouček, M. 2012. Using Multi-agent Simulation to Improve the Security of Maritime Transit In: Villatoro, D., J. Sabater-Mir, and J.S. Sichman, Eds., Multi-Agent-Based Simulation XII: International Workshop, MABS 2011, Taipei, Taiwan, May 2-6, 2011, Revised Selected Papers. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, pp. 44–58.

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 Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences.


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 1993. Telecommunications: FCC’s Oversight Efforts to Control Cross-Subsidization Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Birtler, E.R. 2014. Group therapy and knowledge of neuroplastic principles: The impact of health literacy on client locus of control in a therapy setting. Doctoral dissertation. California State University, Long Beach.

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
Vecsey, G. 2011. Gridiron and Steel Toughened Judge In Clemens Case. New York Times B13.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Simonton, 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Strässer and Hurt, 2001; Simonton, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Strässer and Hurt, 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Kandada et al., 2013)

About the journal

Full journal titleCritical Reviews in Plant Sciences
AbbreviationCRC Crit. Rev. Plant Sci.
ISSN (print)0735-2689
ISSN (online)1549-7836
ScopePlant Science

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