How to format your references using the Trees citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Trees. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Rikken GLJA (2011) Physics. A new twist on spintronics. Science 331:864–865
A journal article with 2 authors
Pan RK, Fortunato S (2014) Author Impact Factor: tracking the dynamics of individual scientific impact. Sci Rep 4:4880
A journal article with 3 authors
Gonsamo A, Chen JM, Wu C (2013) Citizen Science: linking the recent rapid advances of plant flowering in Canada with climate variability. Sci Rep 3:2239
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Schreiner P, Chen X, Husnjak K, et al (2008) Ubiquitin docking at the proteasome through a novel pleckstrin-homology domain interaction. Nature 453:548–552

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Davis RA (2015) Demand-Driven Inventory Optimization and Replenishment. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, New Jersey, USA
An edited book
Goyal SM, Cannon JL (eds) (2016) Viruses in Foods, 2nd ed. 2016. Springer International Publishing, Cham
A chapter in an edited book
Zhang L (2006) Multi-Modal Machine Attention: Sound Localization and Visual-Auditory Signal Synchronization. In: Hommel G, Huanye S (eds) Human Interaction with Machines: Proceedings of the 6th International Workshop held at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University, March 15–16, 2005. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp 43–50

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 Trees.

Blog post
Luntz S (2014) Are These The Earliest Animal Ancestors? In: IFLScience. Accessed 30 Oct 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 (1992) Air Traffic Control: FAA Needs to Justify Further Investment in Its Oceanic Display System. 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
Rossi G (2010) Anesthesiology, geriatric surgery, and the risk of post-operative cognitive dysfunction. Doctoral dissertation, 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
Pilon M (2015) Chinese Cabby’s Query Prompted an Epiphany. New York Times F6

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Rikken 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Rikken 2011; Pan and Fortunato 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Pan and Fortunato 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Schreiner et al. 2008)

About the journal

Full journal titleTrees
AbbreviationTrees (Berl. West)
ISSN (print)0931-1890
ISSN (online)1432-2285
Plant Science

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