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
Soper AK (2015) Physical chemistry: Square ice in a graphene sandwich. Nature 519:417–418
A journal article with 2 authors
Bork P, Copley R (2001) Genome speak. Nature 409:815
A journal article with 3 authors
Bajcsy M, Zibrov AS, Lukin MD (2003) Stationary pulses of light in an atomic medium. Nature 426:638–641
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Myers N, Mittermeier RA, Mittermeier CG, et al (2000) Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403:853–858

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Robyns B, François B, Delille G, Saudemont C (2015) Energy Storage in Electric Power Grids. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Oertli D, Udelsman R (eds) (2007) Surgery of the Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
A chapter in an edited book
Rauf S, Sienkiewicz-Paderewska D, Malinowski DP, et al (2016) Forages: Ecology, Breeding Objectives and Procedures. In: Al-Khayri JM, Jain SM, Johnson DV (eds) Advances in Plant Breeding Strategies: Agronomic, Abiotic and Biotic Stress Traits. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 149–201

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
Hale T (2016) Does Lettuce Actually Get Your Rabbit Stoned? 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 (2014) Broadband Internet: FCC Should Track the Application of Fixed Internet Usage-Based Pricing and Help Improve Consumer Education. 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
Humphreys BP (2013) The Role of Developmental Screening Practices in Early Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Analysis of All-Payer Claims Data in New Hampshire. Doctoral dissertation, University of North Carolina

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
Vecsey G (2010) Strides, Often Painful, but Always, Always Forward. New York Times D5

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Soper 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Bork and Copley 2001; Soper 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Bork and Copley 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Myers et al. 2000)

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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