How to format your references using the Functional Plant Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Functional 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
Joye SB (2015) MARINE SCIENCE. Deepwater Horizon, 5 years on. Science (New York, NY) 349, 592–593.
A journal article with 2 authors
Bainer R, Weaver V (2013) Cell biology. Strength under tension. Science (New York, NY) 341, 965–966.
A journal article with 3 authors
Whitfield CW, Cziko A-M, Robinson GE (2003) Gene expression profiles in the brain predict behavior in individual honey bees. Science (New York, NY) 302, 296–299.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Asmerom Y, Cheng H, Thomas R, Hirschmann M, Edwards RL (2000) Melting of the Earth’s lithospheric mantle inferred from protactinium-thorium-uranium isotopic data. Nature 406, 293–296.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Seifert RJ (2015) ‘Profiting from Weekly Options.’ (John Wiley & Sons, Inc: Hoboken, NJ)
An edited book
Yogesan K, Goldschmidt L, Cuadros J (Eds) (2012) ‘Digital Teleretinal Screening: Teleophthalmology in Practice.’ (Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg)
A chapter in an edited book
Delot T, Ilarri S, del Carmen Rodríguez-Hernández M (2014) Intelligent Transportation Systems – Maybe, But Where Are My Agents? ‘Ad Hoc Networks: 6th International ICST Conference, ADHOCNETS 2014, Rhodes, Greece, August 18-19, 2014, Revised Selected Papers’. (Eds N Mitton, A Gallais, ME Kantarci, S Papavassiliou) Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering. pp. 39–50. (Springer International Publishing: Cham)

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 Functional Plant Biology.

Blog post
Andrew E (2014) 10 Lies You Were Probably Taught In School. IFLScience.


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 (1997) FCC: Competitive Service Safeguards for Local Exchange Carrier Provision of Commercial Mobile Radio Services and Implementation of Section 601(d) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. U.S. Government Printing Office, OGC-98-21. (Washington, DC)

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Crosby WO (2013) ATI v. Colorado: How the Commerce Clause Provides Guidance at the Confluence of Energy, Environmental, and Constitutional Law. Doctoral dissertation, George Washington University, Washington, DC.

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
Walsh MW (2016) Bill to Ease Puerto Rico Through $72 Billion Debt Crisis Introduced in House. New York Times B8.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Joye 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Bainer and Weaver 2013; Joye 2015).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Bainer and Weaver 2013)
  • Three or more authors: (Asmerom et al. 2000)

About the journal

Full journal titleFunctional Plant Biology
AbbreviationFunct. Plant Biol.
ISSN (print)1445-4408
ISSN (online)1445-4416
ScopeAgronomy and Crop Science
Plant Science

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