How to format your references using the Plant Biotechnology Journal citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Plant Biotechnology Journal (PBJ). 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
Carmeliet, P. (2001) Biomedicine. Clotting factors build blood vessels. Science, 293, 1602–1604.
A journal article with 2 authors
Miller, V. and Savage, M. (2001) Changes in seismic anisotropy after volcanic eruptions: evidence from Mount Ruapehu. Science, 293, 2231–2233.
A journal article with 3 authors
Dubilier, N., McFall-Ngai, M., and Zhao, L. (2015) Microbiology: Create a global microbiome effort. Nature, 526, 631–634.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Nábelek, J., Hetényi, G., Vergne, J., Sapkota, S., Kafle, B., Jiang, M., et al. (2009) Underplating in the Himalaya-Tibet collision zone revealed by the Hi-CLIMB experiment. Science, 325, 1371–1374.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Sigrist, J.-F. (2015) Fluid-Structure Interaction. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Shen, W., Luo, J., Lin, Z., Barthès, J.-P.A., and Hao, Q. eds. (2007) Computer Supported Cooperative Work in Design III: 10th International Conference, CSCWD 2006, Nanjing, China, May 3-5, 2006, Revised Selected Papers. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Ruiz, J.F., Comar, C., and Moy, Y. (2012) Source Code as the Key Artifact in Requirement-Based Development: The Case of Ada 2012. In: Reliable Software Technologies – Ada-Europe 2012: 17th Ada-Europe International Conference on Reliable Software Technologies, Stockholm, Sweden, June 11-15, 2012. Proceedings Lecture Notes in Computer Science (Brorsson,M. and Pinho,L.M., eds) , pp. 49–59. 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 Plant Biotechnology Journal.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2015) How We Discovered The Dark Side Of Wearable Fitness Trackers. IFLScience.


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 (2011) Small Business Innovation Research: SBA Should Work with Agencies to Improve the Data Available for Program Evaluation. 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
Hernandez, A. (2012) Impact of the Child and Family Services Improvement Act of 2006 on monthly caseworker visits to children in Los Angeles County on California’s foster care system.

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
(nyt), S.K. (2004) World Briefing | Europe: Russia: Head Of Exile Church In First Visit. New York Times, A10.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Carmeliet, 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Carmeliet, 2001; Miller and Savage, 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Miller and Savage, 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Nábelek et al., 2009)

About the journal

Full journal titlePlant Biotechnology Journal
AbbreviationPlant Biotechnol. J.
ISSN (print)1467-7644
ISSN (online)1467-7652
ScopeAgronomy and Crop Science
Plant Science

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