How to format your references using the Tropical Plant Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Tropical Plant Biology. 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
Ambros V (2001) Development. Dicing up RNAs. Science 293:811–813
A journal article with 2 authors
Xu G, Long G (2014) Universal nonadiabatic geometric gates in two-qubit decoherence-free subspaces. Sci Rep 4:6814
A journal article with 3 authors
Levine DI, Toffel MW, Johnson MS (2012) Randomized government safety inspections reduce worker injuries with no detectable job loss. Science 336:907–911
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Fang W, Lu H-L, King GF, St Leger RJ (2014) Construction of a hypervirulent and specific mycoinsecticide for locust control. Sci Rep 4:7345

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Rowlinson M (2016) A Practical Guide to the NEC3 Engineering and Construction Contract. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK
An edited book
Wang J, Xiong H, Ishikawa Y, et al (eds) (2013) Web-Age Information Management: 14th International Conference, WAIM 2013, Beidaihe, China, June 14-16, 2013. Proceedings. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
A chapter in an edited book
Reid C, Collins J, Singh M (2014) Global Teachers’ Pathways to Australia. In: Collins J, Singh M (eds) Global Teachers, Australian Perspectives: Goodbye Mr Chips, Hello Ms Banerjee. Springer, Singapore, pp 65–83

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 Tropical Plant Biology.

Blog post
Hale T (2017) California’s Famous Giant Sequoia “Tunnel Tree” Falls From Heavy Rain. 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) Collection Efforts Not Keeping Pace With Growing Number of Defaulted Student Loans. 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
Bunt E (2010) The saxophone works of Karlheinz Stockhausen. Doctoral dissertation, University of Arizona

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
Gavin J (2017) The Divine One. New York Times BR22

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Ambros 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Ambros 2001; Xu and Long 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Xu and Long 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Fang et al. 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleTropical Plant Biology
AbbreviationTrop. Plant Biol.
ISSN (print)1935-9756
ISSN (online)1935-9764
ScopePlant Science

Other styles