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
Wadman M (2015) Treatment: When less is more. Nature 528:S126-7
A journal article with 2 authors
Douglas T, Young M (2006) Viruses: making friends with old foes. Science 312:873–875
A journal article with 3 authors
Spiegelhalter D, Pearson M, Short I (2011) Visualizing uncertainty about the future. Science 333:1393–1400
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Rosenberg NA, Pritchard JK, Weber JL, et al (2002) Genetic structure of human populations. Science 298:2381–2385

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ekenna O (2016) Cases in Clinical Infectious Disease Practice: Obtaining a good history from the patient remains the cornerstone of an accurate clinical diagnosis: Lessons learned in many years of clinical practice. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Pearton SJ (2006) Gallium Nitride Processing for Electronics, Sensors and Spintronics. Springer, London
A chapter in an edited book
Ordóñez A (2015) A New Set of Questions: ICT4D Research and Policy. In: Chib A, May J, Barrantes R (eds) Impact of Information Society Research in the Global South. Springer, Singapore, pp 63–82

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
Davis J (2016) Maternal Deaths Worldwide Have Almost Halved In 25 Years. 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 (2011) Department of Labor: Further Management Improvements Needed to Address Information Technology and Financial Controls. 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
Guilford TD (2010) Advocacy for former prisoners to eliminate invisible bars: A grant proposal. 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
Nir SM, Mueller B, Navarro M (2015) A Tarnished Family Empire. New York Times MB1

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Wadman 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Douglas and Young 2006; Wadman 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Douglas and Young 2006)
  • Three or more authors: (Rosenberg et al. 2002)

About the journal

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

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