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
Bortman, H. (2000). Requiem for an observatory. Nature 405:504–506.
A journal article with 2 authors
Peters, S. E., and Foote, M. (2002). Determinants of extinction in the fossil record. Nature 416:420–424.
A journal article with 3 authors
Waghmare, P. R., Gunda, N. S. K., and Mitra, S. K. (2014). Under-water superoleophobicity of fish scales. Sci. Rep. 4:7454.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Reganold, J. P., Glover, J. D., Andrews, P. K., and Hinman, H. R. (2001). Sustainability of three apple production systems. Nature 410:926–930.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Devolder, P., Janssen, J., and Manca, R. (2012). Stochastic Methods for Pension Funds. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Seki, S. (2016). Skyrmions in Magnetic Materials. (ed. Mochizuki, M.) Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Rapaka, S., Mansi, T., Georgescu, B., Pop, M., Wright, G. A., Kamen, A., and Comaniciu, D. (2012). LBM-EP: Lattice-Boltzmann Method for Fast Cardiac Electrophysiology Simulation from 3D Images. In Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention – MICCAI 2012: 15th International Conference, Nice, France, October 1-5, 2012, Proceedings, Part II (ed. Ayache, N.), Delingette, H.), Golland, P.), and Mori, K.), pp. 33–40. 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 (2008). Space Acquisitions: DOD’s Goals for Resolving Space Based Infrared System Software Problems Are Ambitious. 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
Moreau, G. A. (2009). Touch and psychotherapy: A journey to the depths of the unconscious and back again Advance Access published 2009.

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
Feeney, K. (2011). From the Sea to Your Plate. New York Times Advance Access published July 31, 2011.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Bortman, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Bortman, 2000; Peters and Foote, 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Peters and Foote, 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Reganold et al., 2001)

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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