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
R.F. Young 3rd, Molecular biology. Secret weapon, Science. 321 (2008) 922–923.
A journal article with 2 authors
N.Y. Kalaany, D.M. Sabatini, Tumours with PI3K activation are resistant to dietary restriction, Nature. 458 (2009) 725–731.
A journal article with 3 authors
F. Usuki, M. Fujimura, A. Yamashita, Endoplasmic reticulum stress preconditioning attenuates methylmercury-induced cellular damage by inducing favorable stress responses, Sci. Rep. 3 (2013) 2346.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
E.C. Teeling, M.S. Springer, O. Madsen, P. Bates, S.J. O’brien, W.J. Murphy, A molecular phylogeny for bats illuminates biogeography and the fossil record, Science. 307 (2005) 580–584.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
J. Lloret, G. Shulman, R.M. Love, Condition and Health Indicators of Exploited Marine Fishes, John Wiley & Sons, Oxford, 2013.
An edited book
J. Zahle, F. Collin, eds., Rethinking the Individualism-Holism Debate: Essays in the Philosophy of Social Science, Springer International Publishing, Cham, 2014.
A chapter in an edited book
J.-M. Pierson, Energy: A New Criteria for Performances in Large Scale Distributed Systems, in: K.A. Hummel, H. Hlavacs, W. Gansterer (Eds.), Performance Evaluation of Computer and Communication Systems. Milestones and Future Challenges: IFIP WG 6.3/7.3 International Workshop, PERFORM 2010, in Honor of Günter Haring on the Occasion of His Emeritus Celebration, Vienna, Austria, October 14-16, 2010, Revised Selected Papers, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2011: pp. 38–48.

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
S. Luntz, Has The First Dark Matter Particle Been Found?, IFLScience. (2014). (accessed October 30, 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, Missouri River Navigation: Data on Commodity Shipments for Four States Served by the Missouri River and Two States Served by Both the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2009.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
P.R. Tomko, Understanding the factors affecting the influence of children on their parents’ total purchases, Doctoral dissertation, Capella University, 2012.

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
K. Crow, Dreading the Thin Envelope, New York Times. (2003) 145.

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

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