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
Wang, J., 2005. DNA polymerases: Hoogsteen base-pairing in DNA replication? Nature 437, E6-7; discussion E7.
A journal article with 2 authors
Hinton, G.E., Salakhutdinov, R.R., 2006. Reducing the dimensionality of data with neural networks. Science 313, 504–507.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kasuya, A., Sakabe, J.-I., Tokura, Y., 2014. Potential application of in vivo imaging of impaired lymphatic duct to evaluate the severity of pressure ulcer in mouse model. Sci. Rep. 4, 4173.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Ozima, M., Seki, K., Terada, N., Miura, Y.N., Podosek, F.A., Shinagawa, H., 2005. Terrestrial nitrogen and noble gases in lunar soils. Nature 436, 655–659.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
McPhee, P., 2012. A Companion to the French Revolution. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford.
An edited book
Biscari, P., 2016. Meccanica Razionale, 3a edizione. ed, UNITEXT. Springer, Milano.
A chapter in an edited book
Kumar, R.S.S., Ferry, J.G., 2014. Prokaryotic Carbonic Anhydrases of Earth’s Environment, in: Frost, S.C., McKenna, R. (Eds.), Carbonic Anhydrase: Mechanism, Regulation, Links to Disease, and Industrial Applications, Subcellular Biochemistry. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp. 77–87.

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
Hale, T., 2016. This Map Tells You If You’ll Be Vaporized By An Atomic Bomb [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, 2002. Social Security Numbers: SSNs Are Widely Used by Government and Could Be Better Protected (No. GAO-02-691T). 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
Laskey, E., 2013. Plasma glucagon during development of insulin resistance among healthy individuals (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
Kishkovsky, S., 2006. Slow Down and Hide Your Wallet: Traffic Police Ahead. New York Times A4.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Wang, 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Hinton and Salakhutdinov, 2006; Wang, 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Hinton and Salakhutdinov, 2006)
  • Three or more authors: (Ozima 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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