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
Kreeger, K. (2003) Stacking the deck. Nature, 422, 784–785.
A journal article with 2 authors
Panian, J. and Wiltschko, D. (2004) Ramp initiation in a thrust wedge. Nature, 427, 624–627.
A journal article with 3 authors
Weaver, B.A.A., Silk, A.D., and Cleveland, D.W. (2006) Cell biology: nondisjunction, aneuploidy and tetraploidy. Nature, 442, E9-10; discussion E10.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Shi, H., Bencze, K.Z., Stemmler, T.L., and Philpott, C.C. (2008) A cytosolic iron chaperone that delivers iron to ferritin. Science, 320, 1207–1210.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Wing, C. (2012) How Your House Works. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Tan, A.-G. ed. (2013) Creativity, Talent and Excellence. Singapore: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Gao, S., Li, Z., Yu, J., Gao, X., and Wu, W. (2009) DNA Library Screening, Pooling Design and Unitary Spaces. In: Combinatorial Optimization and Applications: Third International Conference, COCOA 2009, Huangshan, China, June 10-12, 2009. Proceedings Lecture Notes in Computer Science (Du,D.-Z., Hu,X., and Pardalos,P.M., eds) , pp. 49–60. 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
O`Callaghan, J. (2015) Watch This Amazing Self-Healing Material That Could Instantly Repair Damaged Spacecraft. 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 (1971) Close Air Support: Principal Issues and Aircraft Choices. 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
Boyle, L.L. (2014) Relationship between managerial responsiveness, managerial approachability, and prosocial voice among acute-care registered nurses.

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
Burghardt, L.F. (2006) Mutiny in the Harbor: One Ship Too Many. New York Times, 14CN6.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Kreeger, 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Kreeger, 2003; Panian and Wiltschko, 2004).

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

  • Two authors: (Panian and Wiltschko, 2004)
  • Three or more authors: (Shi et al., 2008)

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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