How to format your references using the South African Journal of Botany citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for South African Journal of Botany. 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
Holmes, K.V., 2005. Structural biology. Adaptation of SARS coronavirus to humans. Science 309, 1822–1823.
A journal article with 2 authors
Gundersen, G.G., Bretscher, A., 2003. Cell biology. Microtubule asymmetry. Science 300, 2040–2041.
A journal article with 3 authors
Chen, C., Bobisch, C.A., Ho, W., 2009. Visualization of Fermi’s golden rule through imaging of light emission from atomic silver chains. Science 325, 981–985.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Gogurla, N., Sinha, A.K., Santra, S., Manna, S., Ray, S.K., 2014. Multifunctional Au-ZnO plasmonic nanostructures for enhanced UV photodetector and room temperature NO sensing devices. Sci. Rep. 4, 6483.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bell, M., 2016. Incremental Software Architecture. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Inamuddin, Mohammad, A. (Eds.), 2014. Green Chromatographic Techniques: Separation and Purification of Organic and Inorganic Analytes. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht.
A chapter in an edited book
Lazarowski, A., Czornyj, L., 2013. Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacoresistant Epilepsy, in: Rocha, L., Cavalheiro, E.A. (Eds.), Pharmacoresistance in Epilepsy: From Genes and Molecules to Promising Therapies. Springer, New York, NY, pp. 47–57.

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 South African Journal of Botany.

Blog post
Carpineti, A., 2015. Planets Might Not Always Be Hiding In Disk Gaps Seen Around Young Stars [WWW Document]. IFLScience. URL (accessed 10.30.18).


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, 1987. Digests of Unpublished Decisions of the Comptroller General of the United States, Vol. III, No. 9 (No. 134157). 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
Zavala, M., 2009. Latinos’ attitudes towards receiving mental health services (Doctoral dissertation). California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

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
Marx, L., 2015. A Modern Marriage With Multiple Parts. New York Times ST17.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Holmes, 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Gundersen and Bretscher, 2003; Holmes, 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Gundersen and Bretscher, 2003)
  • Three or more authors: (Gogurla et al., 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleSouth African Journal of Botany
AbbreviationS. Afr. J. Bot.
ISSN (print)0254-6299
ScopePlant Science

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