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
Surani MA: Reprogramming of genome function through epigenetic inheritance. Nature 2001, 414:122–128.
A journal article with 2 authors
Feizi A, Bordel S: Metabolic and protein interaction sub-networks controlling the proliferation rate of cancer cells and their impact on patient survival. Sci Rep 2013, 3:3041.
A journal article with 3 authors
Cubitt TS, Perez-Garcia D, Wolf MM: Undecidability of the spectral gap. Nature 2015, 528:207–211.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
García-Inclán C, López-Hernández A, Alonso-Guervós M, Allonca E, Potes S, Melón S, López F, Llorente JL, Hermsen M: Establishment and genetic characterization of six unique tumor cell lines as preclinical models for sinonasal squamous cell carcinoma. Sci Rep 2014, 4:4925.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Zeng K, Lou W, Li M: Multihop Wireless Networks. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2011.
An edited book
Stanilov K (Ed): The Post-Socialist City: Urban Form and Space Transformations in Central and Eastern Europe after Socialism. Springer Netherlands; 2007.
A chapter in an edited book
Braverman N, Argyriou C, Moser A: Human Disorders of Peroxisome Biogenesis: Zellweger Spectrum and Rhizomelic Chondrodysplasia Punctata. In Molecular Machines Involved in Peroxisome Biogenesis and Maintenance. Edited by Brocard C, Hartig A. Springer; 2014:63–90.

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: Molecular Knot Is The Tightest Tied Structure Yet. IFLScience 2017,


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: Railroad Regulation: Changes in Railroad Rates and Service Quality Since 1990. U.S. Government Printing Office; 1999.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Berezin S: Catechols as membrane anion transporters. 2009,

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
Surico J: Queens Woman Killed in Attack by Her Dog. New York Times 2017,

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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