How to format your references using the Planta citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Planta. 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
Caplan A (2004) Bioethics. Is biomedical research too dangerous to pursue? Science 303:1142
A journal article with 2 authors
Bintanja R, van der Linden EC (2013) The changing seasonal climate in the Arctic. Sci Rep 3:1556
A journal article with 3 authors
He DZZ, Jia S, Dallos P (2004) Mechanoelectrical transduction of adult outer hair cells studied in a gerbil hemicochlea. Nature 429:766–770
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Wiens DA, Anandakrishnan S, Winberry JP, King MA (2008) Simultaneous teleseismic and geodetic observations of the stick-slip motion of an Antarctic ice stream. Nature 453:770–774

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Clark M (2006) Understanding Diabetes. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK
An edited book
Saliot A (ed) (2005) The Mediterranean Sea. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
A chapter in an edited book
Mautone S, Belluardo S, Di Paola V, et al (2015) Endometriosis. In: Manfredi R, Pozzi Mucelli R (eds) MRI of the Female and Male Pelvis. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 69–95

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 Planta.

Blog post
Luntz S (2017) Aspirin Could Treat Pea Farmers’ Biggest Headache – Drought. 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 (1972) Reasons for Ending Financial Support to the Dimmitt Independent School District Follow Through Project. 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
Rodriguez J (2010) Viviendo en las sombras: Examining the educational experiences of undocumented immigrant Latino students in a public secondary school setting. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach

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
Wagner J (2016) Reyes Raises His Game, and His Team’s Spirits. New York Times D7

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Caplan 2004).
This sentence cites two references (Caplan 2004; Bintanja and van der Linden 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Bintanja and van der Linden 2013)
  • Three or more authors: (Wiens et al. 2008)

About the journal

Full journal titlePlanta
ISSN (print)0032-0935
ISSN (online)1432-2048
ScopePlant Science

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