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
Cleary, A.S., 2015. Teamwork: The tumor cell edition. Science 350, 1174–1175.
A journal article with 2 authors
Bonduriansky, R., Brassil, C.E., 2002. Senescence: rapid and costly ageing in wild male flies. Nature 420, 377.
A journal article with 3 authors
Saran, R., Stolojan, V., Curry, R.J., 2014. Ultrahigh performance C60 nanorod large area flexible photoconductor devices via ultralow organic and inorganic photodoping. Sci. Rep. 4, 5041.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Bugoslavsky, Y., Cohen, L.F., Perkins, G.K., Polichetti, M., Tate, T.J., Gwilliam, R., Caplin, A.D., 2001. Enhancement of the high-magnetic-field critical current density of superconducting MgB2 by proton irradiation. Nature 411, 561–563.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Clark, G., 2014. The Making of a World City. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
De Cecco, C.N., 2014. MDCT and MRI of the Heart, A-Z Notes in Radiological Practice and Reporting. Springer, Milano.
A chapter in an edited book
Lam, E.S.L., Cervesato, I., Fatima, N., 2015. Comingle: Distributed Logic Programming for Decentralized Mobile Ensembles, in: Holvoet, T., Viroli, M. (Eds.), Coordination Models and Languages: 17th IFIP WG 6.1 International Conference, COORDINATION 2015, Held as Part of the 10th International Federated Conference on Distributed Computing Techniques, DisCoTec 2015, Grenoble, France, June 2-4, 2015, Proceedings, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp. 51–66.

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., 2014. Water On Rosetta’s Comet Different To Water On Earth [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, 1995. Schools and Workplaces: An Overview of Successful and Unsuccessful Practices (No. PEMD-95-28). 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
Chima-Okereke, O., 2010. The distinct VPS35 mutant, env1, exhibits unique protein mislocalization and processing phenotype (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
Feeney, K., 2010. World’s Fare for Soccer Fans. New York Times NJ8.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Cleary, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Bonduriansky and Brassil, 2002; Cleary, 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Bonduriansky and Brassil, 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Bugoslavsky et al., 2001)

About the journal

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

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