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
Smith, C. (2003) A question of form. Nature, 422, 341.
A journal article with 2 authors
Szell, M. and Thurner, S. (2013) How women organize social networks different from men. Sci. Rep., 3, 1214.
A journal article with 3 authors
Zhang, Z., Wang, W. and Qiu, B. (2014) Oceanic mass transport by mesoscale eddies. Science, 345, 322–324.
A journal article with 10 or more authors
Aliotta, F., Giaquinta, P.V., Ponterio, R.C., Prestipino, S., Saija, F., Salvato, G. and Vasi, C. (2014) Supercooled water escaping from metastability. Sci. Rep., 4, 7230.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Sandou, G. (2013) Metaheuristic Optimization for the Design of Automatic Control Laws, Hoboken, NJ USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Dosch, W., Lee, R.Y. and Wu, C. eds. (2006) Software Engineering Research and Applications: Second International Conference, SERA 2004, Los Angeles, CA, USA, MAY 5-7, 2004, Revised Selected Papers, Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Rosselli, F. (2006) The FANC B, E, F and G Genes and Their Products. In S. H. Kirk, ed. Molecular Mechanisms of Fanconi Anemia. Medical Intelligence Unit. Boston, MA: Springer US, pp. 54–60.

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
Luntz, S. (2014) Stem Cell Treatment Successfully Restores Sight. 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 (2008) DOD Business Systems Modernization: Key Marine Corps System Acquisition Needs to Be Better Justified, Defined, and Managed, 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
Perkins, J. (2017) “Inside of each story was a piece of my story”: Applied folklore addressing stigma around perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Doctoral dissertation. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University.

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
Novick, S.M. (2015) When the Brew Is as Crucial as the Bean. New York Times, LI8.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Smith, 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Smith, 2003; Szell and Thurner, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Szell and Thurner, 2013)
  • Three or more authors: (Aliotta et al., 2014)

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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