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
Tracey, K.J., 2002. The inflammatory reflex. Nature 420, 853–859.
A journal article with 2 authors
Matsukawa, Y., Zinkle, S.J., 2007. One-dimensional fast migration of vacancy clusters in metals. Science 318, 959–962.
A journal article with 3 authors
Pascalis, O., de Haan, M., Nelson, C.A., 2002. Is face processing species-specific during the first year of life? Science 296, 1321–1323.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Lavé, J., Yule, D., Sapkota, S., Basant, K., Madden, C., Attal, M., Pandey, R., 2005. Evidence for a great medieval earthquake (~1100 A.D.) in the central Himalayas, Nepal. Science 307, 1302–1305.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hendrick, J., 2010. Law and Ethics in Children’s Nursing. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK.
An edited book
Liu, Z., Woodcock, J., Zhu, H. (Eds.), 2013. Unifying Theories of Programming and Formal Engineering Methods: International Training School on Software Engineering, Held at ICTAC 2013, Shanghai, China, August 26-30, 2013, Advanced Lectures, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Köpf, B., Mantel, H., 2006. Eliminating Implicit Information Leaks by Transformational Typing and Unification, in: Dimitrakos, T., Martinelli, F., Ryan, P.Y.A., Schneider, S. (Eds.), Formal Aspects in Security and Trust: Thrid International Workshop, FAST 2005, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, July 18-19, 2005, Revised Selected Papers, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 47–62.

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
Andrew, E., 2015. Good Luck G7 Leaders – We Won’t Be Off Fossil Fuels By 2100 [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, 1990. Competitiveness of Federal Computer Procurements (No. T-IMTEC-90-12). 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
Payne, N.A., 2010. Adults who have learning disabilities: Transition from GED to postsecondary activities (Doctoral dissertation). Capella University, Minneapolis, MN.

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
Crow, K., 2001. Sailors’ Quarters, Once 25 Cents. New York Times 143.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Tracey, 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Matsukawa and Zinkle, 2007; Tracey, 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Matsukawa and Zinkle, 2007)
  • Three or more authors: (Lavé et al., 2005)

About the journal

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

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