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
Reis e Sousa, C. (2007) Immunology. Eating in to avoid infection. Science, 315, 1376–1377.
A journal article with 2 authors
Field, C.B. and Barros, V.R. (2015) CLIMATE CHANGE. Added value from IPCC approval sessions. Science, 350, 36.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kolodner, R.D., Putnam, C.D., and Myung, K. (2002) Maintenance of genome stability in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Science, 297, 552–557.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Bernard, C., Anderson, A., Becker, A., Poolos, N.P., Beck, H., and Johnston, D. (2004) Acquired dendritic channelopathy in temporal lobe epilepsy. Science, 305, 532–535.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Stone, C.A. and Zissu, A. (2012) The Securitization Markets Handbook. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Geffert, V., Karhumäki, J., Bertoni, A., Preneel, B., Návrat, P., and Bieliková, M. eds. (2008) SOFSEM 2008: Theory and Practice of Computer Science: 34th Conference on Current Trends in Theory and Practice of Computer Science, Nový Smokovec, Slovakia, January 19-25, 2008. Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Mohamad, A.A. (2009) Meso and Macro-Scales Fluid Flow Simulations with Lattice Boltzmann Method. In: Fluid Machinery and Fluid Mechanics: 4th International Symposium (4th ISFMFE) (Xu,J., Wu,Y., Zhang,Y., and Zhang,J., eds) , pp. 27–32. 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
Taub, B. (2016) Scientists Discover How To “Switch On” Immune Cells. 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 (1999) Year 2000 Computing Crisis: Status of the Water Industry. 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
Chitakasempornkul, K. (2012) Ordinal time series analysis for Air Quality Index (AQI) in San Bernardino County.

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
Kelly, R.W. (1996) Handcuffing the Police. New York Times, A21.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Reis e Sousa, 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Field and Barros, 2015; Reis e Sousa, 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Field and Barros, 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Bernard et al., 2004)

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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