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
Charlesworth B: Evolution. Variation catches a ride. Science 2010, 330:326–327.
A journal article with 2 authors
Groisman A, Steinberg V: Efficient mixing at low Reynolds numbers using polymer additives. Nature 2001, 410:905–908.
A journal article with 3 authors
de la Mare W, Gales N, Mangel M: Science and Law. Applying scientific principles in international law on whaling. Science 2014, 345:1125–1126.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Nakamura I, Hama S, Itakura S, Takasaki I, Nishi T, Tabuchi Y, Kogure K: Lipocalin2 as a plasma marker for tumors with hypoxic regions. Sci Rep 2014, 4:7235.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Svrcek WY, Mahoney DP, Young BR: A Real-Time Approach to Process Control. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2007.
An edited book
Eliades T, Eliades G (Eds): Plastics in Dentistry and Estrogenicity: A Guide to Safe Practice. Springer; 2014.
A chapter in an edited book
Palli SR: Recent Advances in the Mode of Action of Juvenile Hormones and Their Analogs. In Biorational Control of Arthropod Pests: Application and Resistance Management. Edited by Ishaaya I, Horowitz AR. Springer Netherlands; 2009:111–129.

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: From Poison To Legalization, Can The Rhino Poaching Crisis Ever Be Solved? 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: National Airspace System: Summary of Flight Delay Trends for 34 Airports in the Continental United States (GAO-10-543SP, May 26, 2010), an E-supplement to GAO-10-542. U.S. Government Printing Office; 2010.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Zhang Y: Toward a Molecular Mechanism of Phase Separation in Disordered Elastin-Like Proteins. 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
Saslow L: New Life Is Sought for ‘American Venice.’ New York Times 2007,

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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