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
de Waal FBM (2012) The antiquity of empathy. Science 336:874–876
A journal article with 2 authors
Rieder CL, Khodjakov A (2003) Mitosis through the microscope: advances in seeing inside live dividing cells. Science 300:91–96
A journal article with 3 authors
Zhou H, Guan H, Chi B (2007) Record of winter monsoon strength. Nature 450:E10-1; discussion E11
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Jové M, Naudí A, Aledo JC, et al (2013) Plasma long-chain free fatty acids predict mammalian longevity. Sci Rep 3:3346

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Smirnov BM (2010) Cluster Processes in Gases and Plasmas. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany
An edited book
Cooper K, White RE (eds) (2012) Qualitative Research in the Post-Modern Era: Contexts of Qualitative Research. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht
A chapter in an edited book
Barsky SH, Robertson FM (2012) Pathology: Histomorphometrical Features of IBC – Angiogenesis, Lymphangiogenesis, and Tumor Emboli. In: Ueno NT, Cristofanilli M (eds) Inflammatory Breast Cancer: An Update. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp 27–51

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
Andrew E (2015) Setting Priorities For Environmental Research Is Daunting When The Questions Are So Huge. 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 (2013) Satellite Control: Long-Term Planning and Adoption of Commercial Practices Could Improve DOD’s Operations. 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
Lin Y-S (2009) Virtuoso piano transcriptions of Stephen Hough and Marc-André Hamelin: Lisztian tradition in the twenty-first century. 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
Greenhouse L (2009) The Chief Justice on the Spot. New York Times A27

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (de Waal 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Rieder and Khodjakov 2003; de Waal 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Rieder and Khodjakov 2003)
  • Three or more authors: (Jové et al. 2013)

About the journal

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

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