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
Smaglik, P. (2004) Reinventing the silk road. Nature, 428, 236–237.
A journal article with 2 authors
Gaudet, J. and Mango, S.E. (2002) Regulation of organogenesis by the Caenorhabditis elegans FoxA protein PHA-4. Science, 295, 821–825.
A journal article with 3 authors
Wang, J.-T., Chen, C. and Kawazoe, Y. (2013) New carbon allotropes with helical chains of complementary chirality connected by ethene-type π-conjugation. Sci. Rep., 3, 3077.
A journal article with 10 or more authors
Gibson, L., Lee, T.M., Koh, L.P., et al. (2011) Primary forests are irreplaceable for sustaining tropical biodiversity. Nature, 478, 378–381.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Segal, H.P. (2012) Utopias, Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
An edited book
Mason, A., Mukhopadhyay, S.C. and Jayasundera, K.P. eds. (2015) Sensing Technology: Current Status and Future Trends IV, Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Goto, M. and Sueyoshi, T. (2009) Financial Ratio Analysis: An Application to US Energy Industry. In J.-D. Lee and A. Heshmati, eds. Productivity, Efficiency, and Economic Growth in the Asia-Pacific Region. Contributions to Economics. Heidelberg: Physica-Verlag HD, pp. 59–79.

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
Carpineti, A. (2016) NASA And FEMA Ran An Asteroid Impact Emergency Planning Exercise. 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 (2004) Intercity Passenger Rail: Amtrak’s Management of Northeast Corridor Improvements Demonstrates Need for Applying Best Practices, 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
Corral, D.C. (2010) A grant proposal: Parent and adolescent support group. Doctoral dissertation. Long Beach, CA: California State University, Long Beach.

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
Eligon, J. (2017) American Eyes on Race in Australia. New York Times, A2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Nadis, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Dalcanton, 2009; Delude, 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Gaudet and Mango, 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Pietrzak et al., 2018)

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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