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
Alvarez, M., 2007. Time for a change. Nature 445, 682.
A journal article with 2 authors
Gombosi, T.I., Ingersoll, A.P., 2010. Saturn: atmosphere, ionosphere, and magnetosphere. Science 327, 1476–1479.
A journal article with 3 authors
Gadalla, M.N., Abdel-Rahman, M., Shamim, A., 2014. Design, optimization and fabrication of a 28.3 THz nano-rectenna for infrared detection and rectification. Sci. Rep. 4, 4270.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Howells, E.J., Abrego, D., Vaughan, G.O., Burt, J.A., 2014. Coral spawning in the Gulf of Oman and relationship to latitudinal variation in spawning season in the northwest Indian Ocean. Sci. Rep. 4, 7484.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ramm, A.G., Hoang, N.S., 2011. Dynamical Systems Method and Applications. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Campi, N., 2009. Automating Linux and Unix System Administration, Second Edition. ed. Apress, Berkeley, CA.
A chapter in an edited book
Austrin, P., Kaski, P., Koivisto, M., Määttä, J., 2013. Space–Time Tradeoffs for Subset Sum: An Improved Worst Case Algorithm, in: Fomin, F.V., Freivalds, R., Kwiatkowska, M., Peleg, D. (Eds.), Automata, Languages, and Programming: 40th International Colloquium, ICALP 2013, Riga, Latvia, July 8-12, 2013, Proceedings, Part I, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 45–56.

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. Cannabis May Have Eased Breast Cancer Symptoms of Siberian Ice Princess [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, 1999. Customs Service Modernization: Ineffective Software Development Processes Increase Customs System Development Risks (No. AIMD-99-35). 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
Mcfarlane, N., 2010. Information power efficiency tradeoffs in mixed signal CMOS circuits (Doctoral dissertation). University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, MD.

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
Williams, J., 2016. In Her Shoes. New York Times BR4.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Alvarez, 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Alvarez, 2007, 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Gombosi and Ingersoll, 2010)
  • Three or more authors: (Howells 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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