How to format your references using the Plant Science citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Plant Science. 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
S. Gupta, Mental health: ups and downs, Nature. 510 (2014) S10-1.
A journal article with 2 authors
N.K. Dulvy, H.K. Kindsvater, Ecology: Recovering the potential of coral reefs, Nature. 520 (2015) 304–305.
A journal article with 3 authors
K. Palikaras, E. Lionaki, N. Tavernarakis, Coordination of mitophagy and mitochondrial biogenesis during ageing in C. elegans, Nature. 521 (2015) 525–528.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
T.O. Vogler, J.R. Wheeler, E.D. Nguyen, M.P. Hughes, K.A. Britson, E. Lester, B. Rao, N.D. Betta, O.N. Whitney, T.E. Ewachiw, E. Gomes, J. Shorter, T.E. Lloyd, D.S. Eisenberg, J.P. Taylor, A.M. Johnson, B.B. Olwin, R. Parker, TDP-43 and RNA form amyloid-like myo-granules in regenerating muscle, Nature. 563 (2018) 508–513.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
F.Y. Schulman, Veterinarian’s Guide to Maximizing Biopsy Results, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Chichester, UK, 2016.
An edited book
M. Friedman, D. Mottram, eds., Chemistry and Safety of Acrylamide in Food, Springer US, Boston, MA, 2005.
A chapter in an edited book
A.H. Qureshi, Distinguished Essay: Reflections on the Global Trading Order Twenty Years After Marrakesh: A Development Perspective, in: C. Herrmann, M. Krajewski, J.P. Terhechte (Eds.), European Yearbook of International Economic Law 2014, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2013: pp. 93–114.

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 Science.

Blog post
J. Fang, Lab-grown Esophagus Implanted in Rat, IFLScience. (2014).


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, Information Technology: DOD Needs to Improve Process for Ensuring Interoperability of Telecommunications Switches, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2002.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
N.A. Payne, Adults who have learning disabilities: Transition from GED to postsecondary activities, Doctoral dissertation, Capella University, 2010.

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
M. Karr, JAN. 15, 2006: Thanks for The Memoirs, New York Times. (2010) F15.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [1].
This sentence cites two references [1,2].
This sentence cites four references [1–4].

About the journal

Full journal titlePlant Science
AbbreviationPlant Sci.
ISSN (print)0168-9452
ScopeAgronomy and Crop Science
Plant Science
General Medicine

Other styles