How to format your references using the Molecular Plant citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Molecular Plant. 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
Elvis, M. (2012). Let’s mine asteroids--for science and profit. Nature 485:549.
A journal article with 2 authors
Kriaucionis, S., and Heintz, N. (2009). The nuclear DNA base 5-hydroxymethylcytosine is present in Purkinje neurons and the brain. Science 324:929–930.
A journal article with 3 authors
Lin, Y.-J., Jiménez-García, K., and Spielman, I. B. (2011). Spin-orbit-coupled Bose-Einstein condensates. Nature 471:83–86.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Drissner, D., Kunze, G., Callewaert, N., Gehrig, P., Tamasloukht, M., Boller, T., Felix, G., Amrhein, N., and Bucher, M. (2007). Lyso-phosphatidylcholine is a signal in the arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis. Science 318:265–268.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Stegmann, J. P. (2009). Strategic Value Management. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Kagan, V. (2013). Sentiment Analysis for PTSD Signals. (ed. Rossini, E.) and Sapounas, D.) New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Plagnol, A. C. (2014). Chasing the ‘Good Life’: Gender Differences in Work Aspirations of American Men and Women. In Gender, Lifespan and Quality of Life: An International Perspective (ed. Eckermann, E.), pp. 49–61. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

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 Molecular Plant.

Blog post
Andrew, D. (2015).IFLScience. Accessed October 30, 2018.


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 (2012). School Improvement Grants: Survey of State Educational Agencies Regarding Grant Implementation (GAO-12-370SP, April 2012), an E-supplement to GAO-12-373. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Wilkins, D. (2015). The Value of the Semantic Differential to the Art Educator Advance Access published 2015.

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
Grynbaum, M. M., and Ember, S. (2017). Who Will Inherit the Throne at Vanity Fair? New York Times Advance Access published September 15, 2017.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Elvis, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Kriaucionis and Heintz, 2009; Elvis, 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Kriaucionis and Heintz, 2009)
  • Three or more authors: (Drissner et al., 2007)

About the journal

Full journal titleMolecular Plant
AbbreviationMol. Plant
ISSN (print)1674-2052
ISSN (online)1752-9867
ScopePlant Science
Molecular Biology

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