How to format your references using the Plant Molecular Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Plant Molecular Biology. 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
Kump LR (2010) Geochemistry. Earth’s second wind. Science 330:1490–1491
A journal article with 2 authors
Mangalam M, Karve SM (2015) ANIMAL COGNITION. Comment on “Number-space mapping in the newborn chick resembles humans’ mental number line.” Science 348:1438
A journal article with 3 authors
Rougier GW, Forasiepi AM, Martinelli AG (2005) Comment on “Independent origins of middle ear bones in monotremes and therians” (II). Science 309:1492; author reply 1492
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Nicastro F, Mathur S, Elvis M, Drake J, Fang T, Fruscione A, Krongold Y, Marshall H, Williams R, Zezas A (2005) The mass of the missing baryons in the X-ray forest of the warm-hot intergalactic medium. Nature 433:495–498

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Meyer MD (2016) Transportation Planning Handbook. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Ebaugh HR (ed) (2006) Handbook of Religion and Social Institutions. Springer US, Boston, MA
A chapter in an edited book
Jacobs K, Spierings N (2016) Interparty Relations: David versus Goliath. In: Spierings N (ed) Social Media, Parties, and Political Inequalities. Palgrave Macmillan US, New York, NY, pp 77–101

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 Molecular Biology.

Blog post
Davis J (2016) Early Mammals May Have Gained Night Vision By Losing Ability To See Ultraviolet. In: IFLScience. Accessed 30 Oct 2018


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 (1978) Administration for Children, Youth, and Families: Need To Better Use Its Research Results and Clarify Its 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
Gossett JM (2009) Autobiographical insights into the spiritual psychologies of Jung and Bion. Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute

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
Gustines GG (2015) Murphy Anderson, 89, Longtime DC Comics Artist. New York Times B10

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Kump 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Kump 2010; Mangalam and Karve 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Mangalam and Karve 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Nicastro et al. 2005)

About the journal

Full journal titlePlant Molecular Biology
AbbreviationPlant Mol. Biol.
ISSN (print)0167-4412
ISSN (online)1573-5028
ScopeAgronomy and Crop Science
Plant Science
General Medicine

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