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
Vanmaekelbergh D. (2015) Materials science: Superlattice substitution. Nature 524, 418–419.
A journal article with 2 authors
Prospero J.M. & Lamb P.J. (2003) African droughts and dust transport to the Caribbean: climate change implications. Science (New York, N.Y.) 302, 1024–1027.
A journal article with 3 authors
Tarduno J.A., Cottrell R.D. & Smirnov A.V. (2001) High geomagnetic intensity during the mid-Cretaceous from Thellier analyses of single plagioclase crystals. Science (New York, N.Y.) 291, 1779–1783.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Rapp M., Seppälä S., Granseth E. & von Heijne G. (2007) Emulating membrane protein evolution by rational design. Science (New York, N.Y.) 315, 1282–1284.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bernstein L. & Yuhas C.M. (2005) Trustworthy Systems through Quantitative Software Engineering. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
van Aartsengel A. (2013) A Guide to Continuous Improvement Transformation: Concepts, Processes, Implementation. (ed S. Kurtoglu), Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Rajasekar S. & Sanjuan M.A.F. (2016) Vibrational and Stochastic Resonances in Spatially Periodic Systems. In Nonlinear Resonances. Springer Series in Synergetics, (ed M.A.F. Sanjuan), pp. 139–160. Springer International Publishing, Cham.

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
Rourke T. (2016) The Physical Effects Of Heartbreak on Your Health. 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 (1988) ADP Modernization: IRS’ Progress on the Electronic Filing System. 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
Cervantes I. (2013) Flexural retrofitting of reinforced concrete structures using Green Natural Fiber Reinforced Polymer plates.

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
Rothenberg B. (2017) Another Marathon Match Win by Nadal Sets Up Final With Federer. New York Times, D5.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Vanmaekelbergh 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Prospero & Lamb 2003; Vanmaekelbergh 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Prospero & Lamb 2003)
  • Three authors: (Tarduno, Cottrell & Smirnov 2001)
  • 6 or more authors: (Rapp, Seppälä, Granseth & von Heijne 2007)

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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