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
Agrawal, A.F. (2015) Evolutionary biology: Infection elevates diversity. Nature, 525, 464–465.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ekström, G. and Stark, C.P. (2013) Simple scaling of catastrophic landslide dynamics. Science, 339, 1416–1419.
A journal article with 3 authors
Singh, S.K., Yamashita, A., and Gouaux, E. (2007) Antidepressant binding site in a bacterial homologue of neurotransmitter transporters. Nature, 448, 952–956.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Chao, W., Huynh, K.D., Spencer, R.J., Davidow, L.S., and Lee, J.T. (2002) CTCF, a candidate trans-acting factor for X-inactivation choice. Science, 295, 345–347.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Upreti, S.R. (2017) Process Modeling and Simulation for Chemical Engineers. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Mascio, T.D., Gennari, R., Vittorini, P., and De la Prieta, F. eds. (2015) Methodologies and Intelligent Systems for Technology Enhanced Learning. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Lyne, A.G. (2009) Intermittent Pulsars. In: Neutron Stars and Pulsars Astrophysics and Space Science Library (Becker,W., ed) , pp. 67–72. 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
Andrews, R. (2017) Interactive Map Reveals The Countries Least Resistant To Superbug Infections. 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 (1989) Early Childhood Education: Information on Costs and Services at High-Quality Centers. 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
Nye, K.M. (2010) Crème de Pêche.

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
Shpigel, B. (2016) Paralympics; Iranian Cyclist Dies After Crash at Rio Games. New York Times, SP2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Agrawal, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Agrawal, 2015; Ekström and Stark, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Ekström and Stark, 2013)
  • Three or more authors: (Chao et al., 2002)

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

Other styles