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
Shevde N (2012) Stem Cells: Flexible friends. Nature 483:S22-6
A journal article with 2 authors
Tewksbury JJ, Nabhan GP (2001) Seed dispersal. Directed deterrence by capsaicin in chilies. Nature 412:403–404
A journal article with 3 authors
Chen AE, Ginty DD, Fan C-M (2005) Protein kinase A signalling via CREB controls myogenesis induced by Wnt proteins. Nature 433:317–322
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Zhao X, Meng G, Han F, et al (2013) Nanocontainers made of various materials with tunable shape and size. Sci Rep 3:2238

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Martindale W (2014) Global Food Security and Supply. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford, UK
An edited book
de Leon J (ed) (2012) A Practitioner’s Guide to Prescribing Antiepileptics and Mood Stabilizers for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities. Springer US, Boston, MA
A chapter in an edited book
Okazaki T, Shinohara H (2005) Nano-Peapods Encapsulating Fullerenes. In: Rotkin SV, Subramoney S (eds) Applied Physics of Carbon Nanotubes: Fundamentals of Theory, Optics and Transport Devices. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 133–150

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
Hale T (2017) Svalbard Will Soon Have Another “Doomsday Vault” For Storing Precious Literature. 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 (1999) Year 2000 Computing Challenge: DEA Has Developed Plans and Established Controls for Business Continuity Planning. 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
Bouyer J (2017) Temporary Leadership in Athletics: The Experiences of Interim NCAA Directors of Athletics. 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
Barnes B, Creswell J (2017) Reeling From Scandal, Weinstein’s Studio Gets Financial Lifeline From Equity Firm. New York Times A11

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Shevde 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Tewksbury and Nabhan 2001; Shevde 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Tewksbury and Nabhan 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Zhao et al. 2013)

About the journal

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

Other styles