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
Blobel G (2013) Christian de Duve (1917-2013). Nature 498:300
A journal article with 2 authors
Gamerdinger M, Deuerling E (2014) Biochemistry. Trigger factor flexibility. Science 344:590–591
A journal article with 3 authors
Hernlund JW, Thomas C, Tackley PJ (2005) A doubling of the post-perovskite phase boundary and structure of the Earth’s lowermost mantle. Nature 434:882–886
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Kojima H, Tokizawa R, Kogure K, et al (2014) Community structure of planktonic methane-oxidizing bacteria in a subtropical reservoir characterized by dominance of phylotype closely related to nitrite reducer. Sci Rep 4:5728

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Wilson GP (2011) Managing to the New Regulatory Reality. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Manfredi R (2013) Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography (MRCP): Biliary and Pancreatic Ducts. Springer, Milano
A chapter in an edited book
Aseeva R, Serkov B, Sivenkov A (2014) The Ignition of Timber. In: Serkov B, Sivenkov A (eds) Fire Behavior and Fire Protection in Timber Buildings. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp 89–117

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
Fang J (2014) Female Promiscuity Prevents Infanticide, Leads to Bigger Balls. 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 (1977) Cooperative Actions Result in More Economical Computer Acquisition and Improved Security at the New Orleans Computer Center. 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
Conti MJ (2012) The online teaching skills and best practices of virtual classroom teachers: A mixed method Delphi study. Doctoral dissertation, University of Phoenix

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
Lyall S (2016) No Nobel Ceremony for Dylan. He’s Busy. New York Times A4

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Blobel 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Blobel 2013; Gamerdinger and Deuerling 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Gamerdinger and Deuerling 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Kojima et al. 2014)

About the journal

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

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