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
Wheeler AR: Chemistry. Putting electrowetting to work. Science 2008, 322:539–540.
A journal article with 2 authors
Grant MR, Jones JDG: Hormone (dis)harmony moulds plant health and disease. Science 2009, 324:750–752.
A journal article with 3 authors
Halpern BS, Cottenie K, Broitman BR: Strong top-down control in southern California kelp forest ecosystems. Science 2006, 312:1230–1232.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Renwick WH, Smith SV, Sleezer RO, Buddemeier RW: Comment on “Managing soil carbon” (II). Science 2004, 305:1567; author reply 1567.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Kwok S: Organic Matter in the Universe. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA; 2011.
An edited book
Xiao R: Corpus-Based Studies of Translational Chinese in English-Chinese Translation. Springer; 2015.
A chapter in an edited book
Basile R: Labour Productivity Polarization Across Western European Regions: Threshold Effects Versus Neighbourhood Effects. In The Labour Market Impact of the EU Enlargement: A New Regional Geography of Europe?. Edited by Caroleo FE, Pastore F. Physica-Verlag HD; 2010:75–97.

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
O`Callaghan J: Will Europe’s Flagship ExoMars Mission Ever Get Off The Ground? IFLScience 2016,


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: Green Information Technology: Agencies Have Taken Steps to Implement Requirements, but Additional Guidance on Measuring Performance Needed. U.S. Government Printing Office; 2011.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Seidel JG: Adolescent female stress management curriculum. 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
St. John Kelly E: Rain Dates: The Action Goes Indoors. New York Times 1993,

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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