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
Drmanac R: Medicine. The ultimate genetic test. Science 2012, 336:1110–1112.
A journal article with 2 authors
Bintanja R, Selten FM: Future increases in Arctic precipitation linked to local evaporation and sea-ice retreat. Nature 2014, 509:479–482.
A journal article with 3 authors
Coumou D, Driesner T, Heinrich CA: The structure and dynamics of mid-ocean ridge hydrothermal systems. Science 2008, 321:1825–1828.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Chang B, Chen Y, Zhao Y, Bruick RK: JMJD6 is a histone arginine demethylase. Science 2007, 318:444–447.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bunnell T: From World City to the World in One City. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2016.
An edited book
Mor Y, Mellar H, Warburton S, Winters N (Eds): Practical Design Patterns for Teaching and Learning with Technology. SensePublishers; 2014.
A chapter in an edited book
Moirta MT, Nakamura M, Tasaka M: Gravity Sensing, Interpretation, and Response. In Biocommunication of Plants. Edited by Witzany G, Baluška F. Springer; 2012:51–66.

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
Andrew E: Possible Preserved Brain Matter Discovered Within 8,000 Year Old Skull. IFLScience 2014,


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: Information Technology: Actions Needed to Fully Establish Program Management Capability for VA’s Financial and Logistics Initiative. U.S. Government Printing Office; 2009.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Cox AM: Functional Gain and Change Mechanisms in Post-Production Complex Systems. 2017,

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
Cooper M, Walsh MW: Buying a Gun? States Consider Insurance Rule. New York Times 2013,

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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