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
Charron DJ (2009) Obituary: Jean Dausset (1916-2009). Nature 460:338
A journal article with 2 authors
Corten GP, Veldkamp HF (2001) Aerodynamics. Insects can halve wind-turbine power. Nature 412:41–42
A journal article with 3 authors
Toope SJ, Tan CC, Fedoroff NV (2012) Science in Asia. Improving Asia-Pacific science collaboration. Science 336:38–39
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Koarashi J, Atarashi-Andoh M, Takeuchi E, Nishimura S (2014) Topographic heterogeneity effect on the accumulation of Fukushima-derived radiocesium on forest floor driven by biologically mediated processes. Sci Rep 4:6853

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Numai T (2010) Laser Diodes and their Applications to Communications and Information Processing. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Biehl M, Hammer B, Verleysen M, Villmann T (eds) (2009) Similarity-Based Clustering: Recent Developments and Biomedical Applications. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
A chapter in an edited book
Bart H, Kaashoek MA, Ran ACM (2010) Explicit solutions using realizations. In: Kaashoek MA, Ran ACM (eds) A State Space Approach to Canonical Factorization with Applications. Birkhäuser, Basel, pp 37–56

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 (2015) Student Confirms That There Are Enormous Tubes Of Plasma Floating Above The Earth. 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 (2002) Relocation of Space Shuttle Major Modification Work. 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
Tang Y (2009) Structure tailored properties and functionalities of zero-dimensional nanostructures. Doctoral dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park

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
Rothenberg B (2017) As Players Pull Out, Criticism Floods In. New York Times B8

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Charron 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Corten and Veldkamp 2001; Charron 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Corten and Veldkamp 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Koarashi et al. 2014)

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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