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
Northup, T. (2015). Quantum physics: Squeezed ions in two places at once. Nature 521:295–296.
A journal article with 2 authors
Conrad, C. P., and Lithgow-Bertelloni, C. (2002). How mantle slabs drive plate tectonics. Science 298:207–209.
A journal article with 3 authors
Gruber, N., Keeling, C. D., and Bates, N. R. (2002). Interannual variability in the North Atlantic Ocean carbon sink. Science 298:2374–2378.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Karuppagounder, S. S., Brahmachari, S., Lee, Y., Dawson, V. L., Dawson, T. M., and Ko, H. S. (2014). The c-Abl inhibitor, nilotinib, protects dopaminergic neurons in a preclinical animal model of Parkinson’s disease. Sci. Rep. 4:4874.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Noar, J. (2014). Interceptive Orthodontics. Oxford, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Brunskell-Evans, H., and Moore, M. eds. (2012). Reimagining Research for Reclaiming the Academy in Iraq: Identities and Participation in Post-Conflict Enquiry: The Iraq Research Fellowship Programme. Rotterdam: SensePublishers.
A chapter in an edited book
Borcard, D., Gillet, F., and Legendre, P. (2011). Cluster Analysis. In Numerical Ecology with R (ed. Gillet, F.) and Legendre, P.), pp. 53–114. New York, NY: Springer.

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, E. (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 (1994). National Test Facility: Civilian Agency Use of Supercomputers Not Feasible. 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
Kantar, L. (2010). Clinical judgment among new nursing graduates: A multiple-case study Advance Access published 2010.

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
Crow, K. (2001). Healing and Burnout, 12 Hours at a Stretch. New York Times Advance Access published June 24, 2001.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Northup, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Conrad and Lithgow-Bertelloni, 2002; Northup, 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Conrad and Lithgow-Bertelloni, 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Karuppagounder et al., 2014)

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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