How to format your references using the Protoplasma citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Protoplasma. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Schiermeier Q (2002) Maths adds up for Berlin centre. Nature 420:348
A journal article with 2 authors
Tahir M, Schwingenschlögl U (2013) Valley polarized quantum Hall effect and topological insulator phase transitions in silicene. Sci Rep 3:1075
A journal article with 3 authors
Arnqvist G, Jones TM, Elgar MA (2003) Insect behaviour: reversal of sex roles in nuptial feeding. Nature 424:387
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Iavarone A, King ER, Dai X-M, et al (2004) Retinoblastoma promotes definitive erythropoiesis by repressing Id2 in fetal liver macrophages. Nature 432:1040–1045

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Good PI, Hardin JW (2006) Common Errors in Statistics (and How to Avoid Them). John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Machado JAT (2011) Nonlinear and Complex Dynamics: Applications in Physical, Biological, and Financial Systems. Springer, New York, NY
A chapter in an edited book
Rozowsky J, Bertone P, Royce T, et al (2005) Analysis of Genomic Tiling Microarrays for Transcript Mapping and the Identification of Transcription Factor Binding Sites. In: Setubal JC, Verjovski-Almeida S (eds) Advances in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology: Brazilian Symposium on Bioinformatics, BSB 2005, Sao Leopoldo, Brazil, July 27-29, 2005. Proceedings. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 28–29

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 Protoplasma.

Blog post
Luntz S (2014) Anti-Vaccination Movement Turns Against Lifesaving Vitamin Shots. 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 (2014) Aviation Workforce: Current and Future Availability of Airline Pilots. 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
Anaya S (2009) Animo clinician training program for detection and treatment of depression during pregnancy and postpartum depression in low income Latina women a grant proposal project. 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
Grynbaum MM (2017) ‘Transparency’ Of Tweets Risks Eroding Media’s Trust. New York Times A12

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Schiermeier 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Schiermeier 2002; Tahir and Schwingenschlögl 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Tahir and Schwingenschlögl 2013)
  • Three or more authors: (Iavarone et al. 2004)

About the journal

Full journal titleProtoplasma
ISSN (print)0033-183X
ISSN (online)1615-6102
ScopePlant Science
Cell Biology
General Medicine

Other styles