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
Merryfield, B. (2005) Ocean science. Ocean mixing in 10 steps. Science, 308, 641–642.
A journal article with 2 authors
Horn, P.J. and Peterson, C.L. (2002) Molecular biology. Chromatin higher order folding--wrapping up transcription. Science, 297, 1824–1827.
A journal article with 3 authors
Schmidt, M.W., Spero, H.J., and Lea, D.W. (2004) Links between salinity variation in the Caribbean and North Atlantic thermohaline circulation. Nature, 428, 160–163.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Gallo, E.M., Winslow, M.M., Canté-Barrett, K., Radermacher, A.N., Ho, L., McGinnis, L., et al. (2007) Calcineurin sets the bandwidth for discrimination of signals during thymocyte development. Nature, 450, 731–735.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Scheringer, M. (2002) Persistence and Spatial Range of Environmental Chemicals. Weinheim, FRG: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Hromkovič, J., Královič, R., and Vahrenhold, J. eds. (2010) Teaching Fundamentals Concepts of Informatics: 4th International Conference on Informatics in Secondary Schools - Evolution and Perspectives, ISSEP 2010, Zurich, Switzerland, January 13-15, 2010. Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Reyboz, M., Rozeau, O., and Poiroux, T. (2009) Compact Modeling of Double Gate MOSFET for IC Design. In: Planar Double-Gate Transistor: From Technology to Circuit (Amara,A. and Rozeau,O., eds) , pp. 55–88. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

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) American Farmers May Be Directly Feeding Cows Skittles In Odd Conspiracy. 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 (2014) Cloud Computing: Additional Opportunities and Savings Need to Be Pursued. 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
Mehta, V. (2009) Sparta in the Enlightenment.

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
Wagner, J. (2017) Brought Together by a Fight With Cancer and a Love of Baseball. New York Times, D2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Merryfield, 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Horn and Peterson, 2002; Merryfield, 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Horn and Peterson, 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Gallo et al., 2007)

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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