How to format your references using the Trends in Plant Science citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Trends in Plant Science. 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
Jacobson, M.Z. (2001) Strong radiative heating due to the mixing state of black carbon in atmospheric aerosols. Nature 409, 695–697
A journal article with 2 authors
Le Borgne, M. and Shaw, A.S. (2013) Immunology. Do T cells have a cilium? Science 342, 1177–1178
A journal article with 3 authors
Nesić, D. et al. (2004) Assembly and function of a bacterial genotoxin. Nature 429, 429–433
A journal article with 3 or more authors
Gertsman, I. et al. (2009) An unexpected twist in viral capsid maturation. Nature 458, 646–650

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bacon, C.R. (2012) Practical Risk-Adjusted Performance Measurement, John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
An edited book
Rocha, Á. et al., eds. (2016) New Advances in Information Systems and Technologies, 1st ed. 2016., 444Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Othman, S. et al. (2016) Does Location Matter? The Efficiency of Request Propagation Based on Location in Online Social Networks. In Social Computing and Social Media: 8th International Conference, SCSM 2016, Held as Part of HCI International 2016, Toronto, ON, Canada, July 17–22, 2016. Proceedings (Meiselwitz, G., ed), pp. 47–58, Springer International Publishing

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 Trends in Plant Science.

Blog post
Andrew, D. 24-Feb-(2017) , Galapagos Giant Tortoises Make A Comeback, Thanks To Innovative Conservation Strategies. , IFLScience. [Online]. [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 (1985) Weather Satellite Costs Have Increased: Problems Have Occurred in Their Manufacturing Quality Control, 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
Sokoya, K. (2014) , A Historical Analysis of the Contributions of the Black Power Movement to Higher Education: 1960 – 1980. , Doctoral dissertation, George Washington 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
Erard, M. 18-Oct-(2017) , The Content of Their Characters. , New York Times, MM35

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [1].
This sentence cites two references [1,2].
This sentence cites four references [1–4].

About the journal

Full journal titleTrends in Plant Science
AbbreviationTrends Plant Sci.
ISSN (print)1360-1385
ISSN (online)1878-4372
ScopePlant Science

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