How to format your references using the Plant and Soil citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Plant and Soil. 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
Smaglik P (2003) Fact or fiction? Nature 425:219
A journal article with 2 authors
Mattick JS, Gagen MJ (2005) Mathematics/computation. Accelerating networks. Science 307:856–858
A journal article with 3 authors
Blum R, Kafitz KW, Konnerth A (2002) Neurotrophin-evoked depolarization requires the sodium channel Na(V)1.9. Nature 419:687–693
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Yang T, Zhao YL, Tong Y, et al (2018) Multicomponent intermetallic nanoparticles and superb mechanical behaviors of complex alloys. Science 362:933–937

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Grinshpan L (2012) Solving Enterprise Applications Performance Puzzles. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
R TMD, A CMG (eds) (2014) Pressure Ulcers in the Aging Population: A Guide for Clinicians. Humana Press, Totowa, NJ
A chapter in an edited book
De Meyts P (2015) Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Signal Transduction and the Molecular Basis of Signalling Specificity. In: Wheeler DL, Yarden Y (eds) Receptor Tyrosine Kinases: Structure, Functions and Role in Human Disease. Springer, New York, NY, pp 51–76

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 Plant and Soil.

Blog post
Andrew E (2015) New Prion Disease Raises Questions About Whether Alzheimer’s And Parkinson’s Could Be Infectious. 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 (2004) Summary Analysis of Federal Commercial Aviation Taxes and Fees. 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
Mayfield KM (2010) Project managers’ experience and description of decision uncertainty associated with the agile software development methodology: A phenomenological study. Doctoral dissertation, Capella 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
Dorman JL (2016) A Funky Place to Land in Hollywood. New York Times TR3

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Smaglik 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Smaglik 2003; Mattick and Gagen 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Mattick and Gagen 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (Yang et al. 2018)

About the journal

Full journal titlePlant and Soil
AbbreviationPlant Soil
ISSN (print)0032-079X
ISSN (online)1573-5036
ScopePlant Science
Soil Science

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