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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for The Plant Journal. 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
Soper, A.K. (2002) Thermodynamics. Water and ice. Science, 297, 1288–1289.
A journal article with 2 authors
Danku, Z. and Kun, F. (2013) Creep rupture as a non-homogeneous Poissonian process. Sci. Rep., 3, 2688.
A journal article with 3 authors
Asaadi, N., Ribe, N.M. and Sobouti, F. (2011) Inferring nonlinear mantle rheology from the shape of the Hawaiian swell. Nature, 473, 501–504.
A journal article with 10 or more authors
Whitham, T.G., Difazio, S.P., Schweitzer, J.A., Shuster, S.M., Allan, G.J., Bailey, J.K. and Woolbright, S.A. (2008) Extending genomics to natural communities and ecosystems. Science, 320, 492–495.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Davis, R.A. (2015) Demand-Driven Inventory Optimization and Replenishment, Hoboken, New Jersey, USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Altenbach, H., Forest, S. and Krivtsov, A. eds. (2013) Generalized Continua as Models for Materials: with Multi-scale Effects or Under Multi-field Actions, Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Baudry, B., Gaston, C. and Ghosh, S. (2006) Report on the 2nd Workshop on Model Development and Validation – MoDeVa. In J.-M. Bruel, ed. Satellite Events at the MoDELS 2005 Conference: MoDELS 2005 International Workshops Doctoral Symposium, Educators Symposium Montego Bay, Jamaica, October 2-7, 2005 Revised Selected Papers. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, pp. 32–38.

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 Journal.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2015) Don’t Freak if you Can’t Solve a Math Problem That’s Gone Viral. IFLScience. Available at: [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 (2009) Federal Student Loans: Audits and Reviews of the Federal Family Education Loan and Federal Direct Loan Programs, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Smith, J.R. (2010) The evolving profile of alternative tobacco use in California. Doctoral dissertation. La Jolla, CA: University of California San Diego.

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
Lundberg, G.D. (2016) The N.F.L.’s Collision With the Future. New York Times, A27.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Soper, 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Soper, 2002; Danku and Kun, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Danku and Kun, 2013)
  • Three or more authors: (Whitham et al., 2008)

About the journal

Full journal titleThe Plant Journal
AbbreviationPlant J.
ISSN (print)0960-7412
ISSN (online)1365-313X
ScopePlant Science
Cell Biology

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