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
Leek, P. J. (2013). Applied physics. Storing quantum information in Schrödinger’s cats. Science 342:568–569.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ignés-Mullol, J., and Schwartz, D. K. (2001). Shear-induced molecular precession in a hexatic Langmuir monolayer. Nature 410:348–351.
A journal article with 3 authors
Tanaka, S., Sawaya, M. R., and Yeates, T. O. (2010). Structure and mechanisms of a protein-based organelle in Escherichia coli. Science 327:81–84.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Sokolovski, S. G., Zolotovskaya, S. A., Goltsov, A., Pourreyron, C., South, A. P., and Rafailov, E. U. (2013). Infrared laser pulse triggers increased singlet oxygen production in tumour cells. Sci. Rep. 3:3484.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lavi, M. R. (2016). The Impact of IFRS on Industry. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Karasavvoglou, A., Aranđelović, Z., Marinković, S., and Polychronidou, P. eds. (2016). The First Decade of Living with the Global Crisis: Economic and Social Developments in the Balkans and Eastern Europe. 1st ed. 2016. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Tsai, J. W., and Moors, T. (2009). Opportunistic Multipath Routing in Wireless Mesh Networks. In Quality of Service in Heterogeneous Networks: 6th International ICST Conference on Heterogeneous Networking for Quality, Reliability, Security and Robustness, QShine 2009 and 3rd International Workshop on Advanced Architectures and Algorithms for Internet Delivery and Applications, AAA-IDEA 2009, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, November 23-25, 2009 Proceedings (ed. Bartolini, N.), Nikoletseas, S.), Sinha, P.), Cardellini, V.), and Mahanti, A.), pp. 71–85. Berlin, Heidelberg: 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 (1982). Inquiry Into Allegations of Improprieties at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. 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
Ponder, S. (2010). Parent information nights: An elementary school principal’s search to increase parent input and affect the learning-at-home environment 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
Koblin, J. (2017). Netflix, With Money to Burn, Draws the Ire of Spurned TV Executives. New York Times Advance Access published June 13, 2017.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Leek, 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Ignés-Mullol and Schwartz, 2001; Leek, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Ignés-Mullol and Schwartz, 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Sokolovski et al., 2013)

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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