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
Bray, D. 2003. Genomics. Molecular prodigality. Science 299: 1189–1190.
A journal article with 2 authors
Campbell, I.H., and O’Neill, H.S.C. 2012. Evidence against a chondritic Earth. Nature 483: 553–558.
A journal article with 3 authors
Conaway, R.C., Brower, C.S., and Conaway, J.W. 2002. Emerging roles of ubiquitin in transcription regulation. Science 296: 1254–1258.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Walter, K.M., Edwards, M.E., Grosse, G., Zimov, S.A., and Chapin, F.S., 3rd 2007. Thermokarst lakes as a source of atmospheric CH4 during the last deglaciation. Science 318: 633–636.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Plumb, J.A., and Hanson, L.A. 2010. Health Maintenance and Principal Microbial Diseases of Cultured Fishes Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
An edited book
Boffi, D. 2008. Mixed Finite Elements, Compatibility Conditions, and Applications: Lectures given at the C.I.M.E. Summer School held in Cetraro, Italy June 26–July 1, 2006 Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Yousuf, T.B. 2014. 3R (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) in Bangladesh In: Pariatamby, A., and M. Tanaka, Eds., Municipal Solid Waste Management in Asia and the Pacific Islands: Challenges and Strategic Solutions. Singapore: Springer, pp. 61–75.

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.

Blog post
Andrew, E. 2015. IFLScience. (Accessed October 30, 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 1977. Potential Problems That Should Be Considered in Evaluating the Experimental Technology Incentives Program 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
Munn, J.E. 2017. Information Technology Certification Training Implementation: Exploratory Case Study of Air Force and Civilian Leaders Experiences. Doctoral dissertation. University of Phoenix.

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
Wagner, J. 2017. Cespedes Displays Healthy Swing in Return, but Legs Are Rarely Tested. New York Times SP5.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Bray, 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Bray, 2003; Campbell and O’Neill, 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Campbell and O’Neill, 2012)
  • Three or more authors: (Walter et al., 2007)

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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