How to format your references using the Plant, Cell & Environment citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Plant, Cell & Environment. 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
Liljas A. (2009) Biochemistry. Leaps in translational elongation. Science (New York, N.Y.) 326, 677–678.
A journal article with 2 authors
Carrizosa E. & Mempel T.R. (2015) Immunology: In the right place at the right time. Nature 528, 205–206.
A journal article with 3 authors
Royle S.J., Bright N.A. & Lagnado L. (2005) Clathrin is required for the function of the mitotic spindle. Nature 434, 1152–1157.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Zappacosta D.C., Ochogavía A.C., Rodrigo J.M., Romero J.R., Meier M.S., Garbus I., … Echenique V.C. (2014) Increased apomixis expression concurrent with genetic and epigenetic variation in a newly synthesized Eragrostis curvula polyploid. Scientific reports 4, 4423.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Gunn A. & Pitt S.J. (2012) Parasitology. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Arya K. (2016) Windows Group Policy Troubleshooting: A Best Practice Guide for Managing Users and PCs Through Group Policy. (ed A. Bettany), Apress, Berkeley, CA.
A chapter in an edited book
Chitsaz M., Wang K., Blumenstein M. & Qi G. (2012) Concept Learning for $\ensuremath{\ensuremath{\cal E}\ensuremath{\cal L}^{++}}$ by Refinement and Reinforcement. In PRICAI 2012: Trends in Artificial Intelligence: 12th Pacific Rim International Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Kuching, Malaysia, September 3-7, 2012. Proceedings. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, (eds P. Anthony, M. Ishizuka & D. Lukose), pp. 15–26. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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, Cell & Environment.

Blog post
O`Callaghan J. (2017) Fizzing Lakes May Explain “Magic Islands” On Saturn’s Moon Titan. 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 (1998) Year 2000 Computing Crisis: Strong Leadership and Effective Partnerships Needed to Mitigate Risks. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Kim S. (2004) Characterization of Ribosomal S6 Protein Phosphorylation and Posssible Control of Ribosome Biogenesis in Arabidopsis Cell Culture.

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
Hubbard G. (2015) Obama’s Bad Economic Ideas. New York Times, A27.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Liljas 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Liljas 2009; Carrizosa & Mempel 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Carrizosa & Mempel 2015)
  • Three authors: (Royle, Bright & Lagnado 2005)
  • 6 or more authors: (Zappacosta et al. 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titlePlant, Cell & Environment
AbbreviationPlant Cell Environ.
ISSN (print)0140-7791
ISSN (online)1365-3040
ScopePlant Science

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