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
Knapp S (2003) Dynamic diversity. Nature 422:475
A journal article with 2 authors
Yu XM, Luo L (2012) Neuroscience. dSarm-ing axon degeneration. Science 337:418–419
A journal article with 3 authors
Hwang TJ, Carpenter D, Kesselheim AS (2014) Target small firms for antibiotic innovation. Science 344:967–969
A journal article with 4 or more authors
McEvilly RJ, de Diaz MO, Schonemann MD, Hooshmand F, Rosenfeld MG (2002) Transcriptional regulation of cortical neuron migration by POU domain factors. Science 295:1528–1532

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bilisoly R (2008) Practical Text Mining with Perl. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Devonshire-Ellis C, Jones SL, Ku E (eds) (2012) The Yangtze River Delta: Business Guide to the Shanghai Region, 5th ed. 2012. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
A chapter in an edited book
Baldacchino G (2011) A Fresh Consideration of Development Strategies for Smaller Island States and Territories. In: Baldacchino G, Niles D (eds) Island Futures: Conservation and Development Across the Asia-Pacific Region. Springer Japan, Tokyo, pp 53–72

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
Fang J (2015) Where Do Allergies Come From? 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 (2002) Information Technology: DOD Needs to Improve Process for Ensuring Interoperability of Telecommunications Switches. 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
Kotch S (2009) Unduly harsh and unworkably rigid: The death penalty in North Carolina, 1910–1961. Doctoral dissertation, University of North Carolina

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
Kishkovsky S (2014) Tatiana Samoilova, 80, Soviet Movie Star. 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 (Knapp 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Knapp 2003; Yu and Luo 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Yu and Luo 2012)
  • Three or more authors: (McEvilly et al. 2002)

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