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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Plant Molecular Biology Reporter. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Hunten DM (2004) Atmospheric science. An iron deficiency in polar mesospheric clouds. Science 304:395–396
A journal article with 2 authors
Burns CG, Burns CE (2014) Development. A crowning achievement for deciphering coronary origins. Science 345:28–29
A journal article with 3 authors
Tanaka S, Sawaya MR, Yeates TO (2010) Structure and mechanisms of a protein-based organelle in Escherichia coli. Science 327:81–84
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Lee S, Hwang I, Oh S, et al (2014) Ultra-thin resistive switching oxide layers self-assembled by field-induced oxygen migration (FIOM) technique. Sci Rep 4:6871

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
zur Hausen H (2006) Infections Causing Human Cancer. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, FRG
An edited book
Cherry MJ (ed) (2009) The Normativity of the Natural: Human Goods, Human Virtues, and Human Flourishing. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht
A chapter in an edited book
Tang H, Li Z-L (2014) Land Surface Temperature Retrieval from Thermal Infrared Data. In: Li Z-L (ed) Quantitative Remote Sensing in Thermal Infrared: Theory and Applications. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 93–143

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 Reporter.

Blog post
Andrew E (2014) Watch A Snowflake Form Before Your Eyes! 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 (2009) Surface Transportation: Clear Federal Role and Criteria-Based Selection Process Could Improve Three National and Regional Infrastructure Programs. 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
Song H (2006) Systematics of Cyrtacanthacridinae (Orthoptera: Acrididae) with a Focus on the Genus Schistocerca Stål 1873: Evolution of Locust Phase Polyphenism and Study of Insect Genitalia. Doctoral dissertation, Ohio State 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
Feeney K (2008) Fresh Fare, Ready to Eat. New York Times NJ12

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Hunten 2004).
This sentence cites two references (Hunten 2004; Burns and Burns 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Burns and Burns 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Lee et al. 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titlePlant Molecular Biology Reporter
AbbreviationPlant Mol. Biol. Rep.
ISSN (print)0735-9640
ISSN (online)1572-9818
ScopePlant Science
Molecular Biology

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