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
Letvin NL (2009) Virology. Moving forward in HIV vaccine development. Science 326:1196–1198
A journal article with 2 authors
Martin T, Luo Z-X (2005) PALEONTOLOGY: Homoplasy in the Mammalian Ear. Science 307:861–862
A journal article with 3 authors
Foster SL, Hargreaves DC, Medzhitov R (2007) Gene-specific control of inflammation by TLR-induced chromatin modifications. Nature 447:972–978
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Mukherjee A, Sen TK, Ghorai PK, Mandal SK (2013) The non-innocent phenalenyl unit: an electronic nest to modulate the catalytic activity in hydroamination reaction. Sci Rep 3:2821

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Williams T, Turton V (2014) Trading Economics. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK
An edited book
Zeimpekis V, Kaimakamis G, Daras NJ (eds) (2015) Military Logistics: Research Advances and Future Trends. Springer International Publishing, Cham
A chapter in an edited book
Strobel M, Gengenbach V (2007) HDR Video Cameras. In: Hoefflinger B (ed) High-Dynamic-Range (HDR) Vision. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 73–97

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
Andrew E (2015) Heat-Seeking “Grenades” Attack Cancer Cells. 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 (1997) International Aviation: Competition Issues in the U.S.-U.K. Market. 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
Bailey SM (2008) Content Assessment in Intelligent Computer-Aided Language Learning: Meaning Error Diagnosis for English as a Second Language. Doctoral dissertation, Ohio 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
Chira S (2015) America’s Tea Culture Blossoms. New York Times D1

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Letvin 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Martin and Luo 2005; Letvin 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Martin and Luo 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (Mukherjee et al. 2013)

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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