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
Check E (2002) Safety panel backs principle of gene-therapy trials. Nature 420:595
A journal article with 2 authors
Bardgett RD, van der Putten WH (2014) Belowground biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Nature 515:505–511
A journal article with 3 authors
Lammert E, Cleaver O, Melton D (2001) Induction of pancreatic differentiation by signals from blood vessels. Science 294:564–567
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Veneti Z, Bentley JK, Koana T, et al (2005) A functional dosage compensation complex required for male killing in Drosophila. Science 307:1461–1463

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hamad WY (2017) Cellulose Nanocrystals. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK
An edited book
Zhang M (2016) Android Application Security: A Semantics and Context-Aware Approach. Springer International Publishing, Cham
A chapter in an edited book
Cartwright WE (2006) Exploring the Use of a Virtual Map Shop as an Interface for Accessing Geographical Information. In: Stefanakis E, Peterson MP, Armenakis C, Delis V (eds) Geographic Hypermedia: Concepts and Systems. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 73–95

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
Hale T (2016) Can You Flush A Toilet With Liquid Mercury? Kind Of. 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 (1976) Supply Management in the District of Columbia Public Schools. 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
Camaya C (2015) Teachers’ perceptions of social skills instruction for children with autism spectrum disorders. Doctoral dissertation, University of Phoenix

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
Kovaleski SF, Alter A (2015) Intrigue Grows Over New Book by Harper Lee. New York Times A1

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Check 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Check 2002; Bardgett and van der Putten 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Bardgett and van der Putten 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Veneti et al. 2005)

About the journal

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

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