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
Snieder R (2000) The tube worm turns. Nature 406:939
A journal article with 2 authors
Desai MM, Walczak AM (2015) Microbiology. Flexible gene pools. Science 348:977–978
A journal article with 3 authors
Westover KD, Bushnell DA, Kornberg RD (2004) Structural basis of transcription: separation of RNA from DNA by RNA polymerase II. Science 303:1014–1016
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Astle AT, Li RW, Webb BS, Levi DM, McGraw PV (2013) A Weber-like law for perceptual learning. Sci Rep 3:1158

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Saleh JH, Castet J-F (2011) Spacecraft Reliability and Multi-State Failures. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK
An edited book
Setola R, Sforza A, Vittorini V, Pragliola C (eds) (2015) Railway Infrastructure Security. Springer International Publishing, Cham
A chapter in an edited book
Williams RJ III, Brophy RH (2007) Decision Making in Cartilage Repair Procedures. In: Williams RJ (ed) Cartilage Repair Strategies. Humana Press, Totowa, NJ, pp 37–53

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
Andrews R (2016) Pokémon GO’s Augmented Reality Has Made The World Are Far Weirder Place. 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 (1997) Highway Safety: NHTSA’s Activities Concerning State Motorcycle Helmet Laws. 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
Theis JY (2013) Accessing mental health services among Asian American adults: Evidence from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS). Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach

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
Brantley B (2016) What Did Chekhov Know? Quite a Lot. New York Times AR24

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Snieder 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Snieder 2000; Desai and Walczak 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Desai and Walczak 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Astle et al. 2013)

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

Other styles