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
Finney C (2015) Conservation economics. Comment on “Using ecological thresholds to evaluate the costs and benefits of set-asides in a biodiversity hotspot.” Science 347:731
A journal article with 2 authors
Robinson CM, Pfeiffer JK (2014) Virology. Leaping the norovirus hurdle. Science 346:700–701
A journal article with 3 authors
Briggs F, Mangun GR, Usrey WM (2013) Attention enhances synaptic efficacy and the signal-to-noise ratio in neural circuits. Nature 499:476–480
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Prouteau G, Scaillet B, Pichavant M, Maury R (2001) Evidence for mantle metasomatism by hydrous silicic melts derived from subducted oceanic crust. Nature 410:197–200

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bonald T, Feuillet M (2011) Network Performance Analysis. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Lajtha A, Gibson GE, Dienel GA (eds) (2007) Handbook of Neurochemistry and Molecular Neurobiology: Brain Energetics. Integration of Molecular and Cellular Processes. Springer US, Boston, MA
A chapter in an edited book
Baer PC, Luttmann W (2014) Adipose-derived Stromal/Stem Cells and Their Differentiation Potential into the Endothelial Lineage. In: Hescheler J, Hofer E (eds) Adult and Pluripotent Stem Cells: Potential for Regenerative Medicine of the Cardiovascular System. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp 53–70

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
Hale T (2015) The Last Few Quito Rocket Frogs Might Be Wiped Out By Volcano. 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 (1987) Acid Rain: Delays and Management Changes in the Federal Research Program. 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
Zaegel BM (2012) An Evaluation of the School-wide Positive Behavior Intervention and Support Check In/Check Out Behavior Education Program. Doctoral dissertation, Lindenwood University

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
Rojas R, Harris EA (2015) Charge of Duct-Tape Assault at a School. New York Times A29

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Finney 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Robinson and Pfeiffer 2014; Finney 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Robinson and Pfeiffer 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Prouteau et al. 2001)

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