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
Diehl RA (2005) Archaeology. Patterns of cultural primacy. Science 307:1055–1056
A journal article with 2 authors
Sriver RL, Huber M (2007) Observational evidence for an ocean heat pump induced by tropical cyclones. Nature 447:577–580
A journal article with 3 authors
Bunge J, Epstein SS, Peterson DG (2006) Comment on “Computational improvements reveal great bacterial diversity and high metal toxicity in soil.” Science 313:918; author reply 918
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Bains S, Norris RD, Corfield RM, Faul KL (2000) Termination of global warmth at the Palaeocene/Eocene boundary through productivity feedback. Nature 407:171–174

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Tue NV, Reichel M, Fischer M (2016) Berechnung und Bemessung von Betonbrücken. Wilhelm Ernst & Sohn, Verlag für Architektur und technische Wissenschaften GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin, Germany
An edited book
Srivastava PK, Mukherjee S, Gupta M, Islam T (eds) (2014) Remote Sensing Applications in Environmental Research. Springer International Publishing, Cham
A chapter in an edited book
Sergeyev YD, Strongin RG, Lera D (2013) Ideas for Acceleration. In: Strongin RG, Lera D (eds) Introduction to Global Optimization Exploiting Space-Filling Curves. Springer, New York, NY, pp 91–116

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
Luntz S (2017) Boxes For Owls Help Overcome Middle East Divisions. 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 (2014) Telecommunications: Federal Broadband Deployment Programs and Small Business. 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
Bonilla E (2017) Parental Employment Status and Child Feeding Practices Among African American and Latina Adolescent Girls. 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
Grynbaum MM (2017) Familiar Cycle of Partisan Combat Churns Again, and Trump Is Again at the Center. New York Times A6

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Diehl 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Diehl 2005; Sriver and Huber 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Sriver and Huber 2007)
  • Three or more authors: (Bains et al. 2000)

About the journal

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

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