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
Smaglik P (2003) Golden handcuffs. Nature 424, 351.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ogawa A, Sommer RJ (2009) Developmental biology. Strategies to get arrested. Science (New York, NY) 326, 944–945.
A journal article with 3 authors
Chou SY, Keimel C, Gu J (2002) Ultrafast and direct imprint of nanostructures in silicon. Nature 417, 835–837.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Hamdan SM, Loparo JJ, Takahashi M, Richardson CC, van Oijen AM (2009) Dynamics of DNA replication loops reveal temporal control of lagging-strand synthesis. Nature 457, 336–339.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Cazdyn E, Szeman I (2011) ‘After Globalization.’ (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester, UK)
An edited book
Priami C, Merelli E, Gonzalez P, Omicini A (Eds) (2005) ‘Transactions on Computational Systems Biology III.’ (Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg)
A chapter in an edited book
Kahraman C, Kaya İ (2008) Fuzzy Equivalent Annual-Worth Analysis and Applications. ‘Fuzzy Engineering Economics with Applications’. (Ed C Kahraman) Studies in Fuzziness and Soft Computing. pp. 71–81. (Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg)

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 (2015) Body Hair Helps Animals Stay Clean – And Could Inspire Self-Cleaning Technologies. 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 (1985) U.S. Citizens Studying Medicine Abroad. U.S. Government Printing Office, 126497. (Washington, DC)

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Bryant D (2012) A good story changes everything. Doctoral dissertation, Pepperdine University, Malibu, 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
Greenhouse L (2007) Justices Back Underwriters On New Issues. New York Times C1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Smaglik 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Smaglik 2003; Ogawa and Sommer 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Ogawa and Sommer 2009)
  • Three or more authors: (Hamdan et al. 2009)

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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