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
Blumberg BS (2008) Obituary: Joshua Lederberg (1925-2008). Nature 452, 422.
A journal article with 2 authors
Siefermann KR, Abel B (2010) Chemistry. Ion chemistry mediated by water networks. Science (New York, NY) 327, 280–281.
A journal article with 3 authors
Rubin KH, Fletcher CH 3rd, Sherman C (2000) Fossiliferous Lana’i deposits formed by multiple events rather than a single giant tsunami. Nature 408, 675–681.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Murphy WJ, Eizirik E, Johnson WE, Zhang YP, Ryder OA, O’Brien SJ (2001) Molecular phylogenetics and the origins of placental mammals. Nature 409, 614–618.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hopkins BR (2009) ‘Fundraising Law Made Easy.’ (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ)
An edited book
Salomons GS, Wyss M (Eds) (2007) ‘Creatine and Creatine Kinase in Health and Disease.’ (Springer Netherlands: Dordrecht)
A chapter in an edited book
Bouchelouche K, Bouchelouche P (2013) Mast Cell and Bladder Pain Syndrome. ‘Bladder Pain Syndrome: A Guide for Clinicians’. (Eds J Nordling, JJ Wyndaele, JP van de Merwe, P Bouchelouche, M Cervigni, M Fall) pp. 71–86. (Springer US: Boston, MA)

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
Hale T (2016) Salt Used To De-Ice Roads Can Make Frogs Change Sex. 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 (2008) Aviation Security: Transportation Security Administration Has Strengthened Planning to Guide Investments in Key Aviation Security Programs, but More Work Remains. U.S. Government Printing Office, GAO-08-1024T. (Washington, DC)

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Tripamer AJ (2013) Teacher Perceptions of Teacher Evaluations in the Fort Zumwalt School District. Doctoral dissertation, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL.

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
Hollander S (2000) From the Ruins of Sarajevo to Stardom at Princeton. New York Times D4.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Blumberg 2008).
This sentence cites two references (Blumberg 2008; Siefermann and Abel 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Siefermann and Abel 2010)
  • Three or more authors: (Murphy et al. 2001)

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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