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
Vernos I (2013) Research management: Quotas are questionable. Nature 495:39
A journal article with 2 authors
Daily GC, Walker BH (2000) Seeking the great transition. Nature 403:243–245
A journal article with 3 authors
Chan P, Curtis RA, Warwicker J (2013) Soluble expression of proteins correlates with a lack of positively-charged surface. Sci Rep 3:3333
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Kim J, Dong H, Seabaugh J, et al (2004) Role of microbes in the smectite-to-illite reaction. Science 303:830–832

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Vaseghi SV (2006) Advanced Digital Signal Processing and Noise Reduction. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK
An edited book
Merci B, Roekaerts D, Sadiki A (eds) (2011) Experiments and Numerical Simulations of Diluted Spray Turbulent Combustion: Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Turbulent Spray Combustion. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht
A chapter in an edited book
Haynes TW (2016) All My Favorite Conjectures Are Critical. In: Gera R, Hedetniemi S, Larson C (eds) Graph Theory: Favorite Conjectures and Open Problems - 1. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 63–82

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
Andrew E (2015) Did ‘Rising Star’ Shine Too Bright? 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 (2003) Charter Schools: New Charter Schools Across the Country and in the District of Columbia Face Similar Start-Up Challenges. 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
Liang C-C (2013) Fate of bacterial and viral indicators in an advanced wastewater treatment plant. 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
Kishkovsky S (2002) Russian Troops Seal Off Town In Search for Chechen Rebels. New York Times 13

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Vernos 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Daily and Walker 2000; Vernos 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Daily and Walker 2000)
  • Three or more authors: (Kim et al. 2004)

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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