How to format your references using the The Plant Genome citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for The Plant Genome. 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
Baker, M. (2010). RNA interference: From tools to therapies. Nature, 464, 1225
A journal article with 2 authors
Zhang, X.-Q., & Xu, D. (2002). Calculating forest biomass changes in China. Science (New York, N.Y.), 296, 1359; discussion 1359
A journal article with 3 authors
Portmann, O., Vaterlaus, A., & Pescia, D. (2003). An inverse transition of magnetic domain patterns in ultrathin films. Nature, 422, 701–704
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Renne, P.R., Feinberg, J.M., Waters, M.R., Arroyo-Cabrales, J., Ochoa-Castillo, P., Perez-Campa, M., & Knight, K.B. (2005). Geochronology: age of Mexican ash with alleged “footprints”. Nature, 438, E7-8

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lindahl, D. (2008). Multi-Family Millions. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Yin, X.-C., Mora, P., Donnellan, A., & Matsu’ura, M. eds. (2006). Computational Earthquake Physics: Simulations, Analysis and Infrastructure, Part I. Birkhäuser, Basel.
A chapter in an edited book
Babatunde, Y., & Low, S.P. (2015). Construction Industry in Nigeria. In S.P. Low (Ed.), Cross-Cultural Management and Quality Performance: Chinese Construction Firms in Nigeria (pp. 45–57). Springer, Singapore.

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 The Plant Genome.

Blog post
Davis, J. (2016). The Oceans Could Soon Not Have Enough Oxygen To Support Marine Life. (accessed October 30, 2018).


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. (1991). Commercial Use of Space: Many Grantees Making Progress, but NASA Oversight Could Be Improved. 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
Aldaco, R. (2010). Latinas attainment of higher education: What factors contribute to their success? [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
Gordon, M.R., Schmitt, E., & Haberman, M. (2017). Trump Chooses A ‘Path Forward’ For Afghanistan. New York Times, A1

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Baker, 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Zhang & Xu, 2002; Baker, 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Zhang & Xu, 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Renne et al., 2005)

About the journal

Full journal titleThe Plant Genome
AbbreviationPlant Genome
ISSN (online)1940-3372
ScopeAgronomy and Crop Science
Plant Science

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