How to format your references using the Current Opinion in Plant Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Current Opinion in Plant Biology. 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
Robock A: Atmospheric science. Whither geoengineering? Science 2008, 320:1166–1167.
A journal article with 2 authors
Benkovic SJ, Hammes-Schiffer S: A perspective on enzyme catalysis. Science 2003, 301:1196–1202.
A journal article with 3 authors
Freckleton RP, Sutherland WJ, Watkinson AR: Ecology. Deciding the future of GM crops in Europe. Science 2003, 302:994–996.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Ricci KA, Girosi F, Tarr PI, Lim Y-W, Mason C, Miller M, Hughes J, von Seidlein L, Agosti JM, Guerrant RL: Reducing stunting among children: the potential contribution of diagnostics. Nature 2006, 444 Suppl 1:29–38.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Oden JT: An Introduction to Mathematical Modeling. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2011.
An edited book
Murgante B, Gervasi O, Misra S, Nedjah N, Rocha AMAC, Taniar D, Apduhan BO (Eds): Computational Science and Its Applications – ICCSA 2012: 12th International Conference, Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, June 18-21, 2012, Proceedings, Part I. Springer; 2012.
A chapter in an edited book
Kalawate AS: Microbial Viral Insecticides. In Basic and Applied Aspects of Biopesticides. Edited by Sahayaraj K. Springer India; 2014:47–68.

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 Current Opinion in Plant Biology.

Blog post
Carpineti A: Astronomers Witness The Dying “Breath” Of A Giant Radio Galaxy. IFLScience 2015,


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: School Dropouts: The Extent and Nature of the Problem. U.S. Government Printing Office; 1986.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Garcia M: A.R.T. / Atmospheric. Retail. Therapy. 2015,

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: Juventus, Tainted by a Scandal, Tries to Regain Its Luster. New York Times 2011,

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [1].
This sentence cites two references [1,2].
This sentence cites four references [1–4].

About the journal

Full journal titleCurrent Opinion in Plant Biology
AbbreviationCurr. Opin. Plant Biol.
ISSN (print)1369-5266
ISSN (online)1879-0356
ScopePlant Science

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