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
Schroers J (2014) Condensed-matter physics: Glasses made from pure metals. Nature 512, 142–143.
A journal article with 2 authors
Juran I, Falcocchio J (2011) Retrospective. George Bugliarello (1927-2011). Science (New York, NY) 332, 50.
A journal article with 3 authors
Dubilier N, McFall-Ngai M, Zhao L (2015) Microbiology: Create a global microbiome effort. Nature 526, 631–634.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Bulteau A-L, O’Neill HA, Kennedy MC, Ikeda-Saito M, Isaya G, Szweda LI (2004) Frataxin acts as an iron chaperone protein to modulate mitochondrial aconitase activity. Science (New York, NY) 305, 242–245.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Dinçer İ, Zamfirescu C (2015) ‘Drying Phenomena.’ (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester, UK)
An edited book
Parks WC, Mecham RP (Eds) (2011) ‘Extracellular Matrix Degradation.’ (Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg)
A chapter in an edited book
Bouali L, Abd-Elrahman E, Afifi H, Bouzefrane S, Daoui M (2016) Virtualization Techniques: Challenges and Opportunities. ‘Mobile, Secure, and Programmable Networking: Second International Conference, MSPN 2016, Paris, France, June 1-3, 2016, Revised Selected Papers’. (Eds S Boumerdassi, É Renault, S Bouzefrane) Lecture Notes in Computer Science. pp. 49–62. (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
Luntz S (2015) First Snakes Had Cute Ankles And Toes. 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 (1998) Air Traffic Control: Evolution and Status of FAA’s Automation Program. U.S. Government Printing Office, T-RCED/AIMD-98-85. (Washington, DC)

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Hirschy MA (2015) Differences in usage of federally funded insurance options by women. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

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
Kishkovsky S (2015) Maya Plisetskaya, Fluid Soviet Ballerina, Dies at 89. New York Times A21.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Schroers 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Juran and Falcocchio 2011; Schroers 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Juran and Falcocchio 2011)
  • Three or more authors: (Bulteau et al. 2004)

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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