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
Triendl R. (2000) Japan’s cloning ban will allow stem cell experiments. Nature 404, 321.
A journal article with 2 authors
Germain R.N. & Paul W.E. (2011) Baruj Benacerraf (1920-2011). Nature 477, 34.
A journal article with 3 authors
Tagkopoulos I., Liu Y.-C. & Tavazoie S. (2008) Predictive behavior within microbial genetic networks. Science (New York, N.Y.) 320, 1313–1317.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Barrangou R., Fremaux C., Deveau H., Richards M., Boyaval P., Moineau S., … Horvath P. (2007) CRISPR provides acquired resistance against viruses in prokaryotes. Science (New York, N.Y.) 315, 1709–1712.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Blicq R.S. & Moretto L.A. (2015) Writing Reports to Get Results. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, USA.
An edited book
Kastensmidt F. & Rech P. eds. (2016) FPGAs and Parallel Architectures for Aerospace Applications: Soft Errors and Fault-Tolerant Design. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Luo G., Jin H.M., Bin L., Wang H.-Y., Huang X., Zhou H., … Chen N. (2015) Abnormal Development of the Vagina. In Atlas of Surgical Correction of Female Genital Malformation. (eds L. Zhu, F. Wong & J. Lang), pp. 85–206. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht.

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
Hamilton K. (2017) Researchers Reveal The Multi-Dimensional Universe Of The Brain. 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 (2009) High Speed Passenger Rail: Future Development Will Depend on Addressing Financial and Other Challenges and Establishing a Clear Federal Role. 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
Hardin J. (2010) A study of social cognitive theory: The relationship between professional learning communities and collective teacher efficacy in international school settings.

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
Kenigsberg B. (2017) Film Series. New York Times, C23.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Triendl 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Triendl 2000; Germain & Paul 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Germain & Paul 2011)
  • Three authors: (Tagkopoulos, Liu & Tavazoie 2008)
  • 6 or more authors: (Barrangou et al. 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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