How to format your references using the Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Goldston D (2008) A delicate balance. Nature 453:838
A journal article with 2 authors
Geisler JH, Theodor JM (2009) Hippopotamus and whale phylogeny. Nature 458:E1-4; discussion E5
A journal article with 3 authors
Park S, Vohs JM, Gorte RJ (2000) Direct oxidation of hydrocarbons in a solid-oxide fuel cell. Nature 404:265–267
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Tu DC, Batten ML, Palczewski K, Van Gelder RN (2004) Nonvisual photoreception in the chick iris. Science 306:129–131

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lunn G, Sansone EB (2012) Destruction of Hazardous Chemicals in the Laboratory. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Zeadally S, Cerqueira E, Curado M, Leszczuk M (eds) (2010) Future Multimedia Networking: Third International Workshop, FMN 2010, Kraków, Poland, June 17-18, 2010. Proceedings. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
A chapter in an edited book
Cristini C, Cesa-Bianchi M, Cesa-Bianchi G, Porro A (2011) Creatività e salute in età senile. In: Cesa-Bianchi M, Cesa-Bianchi G, Porro A (eds) L’ultima creatività: Luci nella vecchiaia. Springer, Milano, pp 79–95

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 Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants.

Blog post
Luntz S (2014) World First Photograph Shows Bird Flying With Egg Bump. In: IFLScience. Accessed 30 Oct 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 (1970) Use of Office and Administration Space at DOD Installations. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Levy MR (2009) Visual perception and Gestalt grouping in the landscape: Are Gestalt grouping prinicples reliable indicators of visual preference? Doctoral dissertation, Mississippi State University

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
Kenigsberg B (2017) One of Us. New York Times C9

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Goldston 2008).
This sentence cites two references (Goldston 2008; Geisler and Theodor 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Geisler and Theodor 2009)
  • Three or more authors: (Tu et al. 2004)

About the journal

Full journal titlePhysiology and Molecular Biology of Plants
AbbreviationPhysiol. Mol. Biol. Plants
ISSN (print)0971-5894
ISSN (online)0974-0430
ScopePlant Science
Molecular Biology

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