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
Masood E (2015) Maurice Strong (1929-2015). Nature 528:480
A journal article with 2 authors
Tsodyks M, Gilbert C (2004) Neural networks and perceptual learning. Nature 431:775–781
A journal article with 3 authors
Råberg L, Sim D, Read AF (2007) Disentangling genetic variation for resistance and tolerance to infectious diseases in animals. Science 318:812–814
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Robinson MS, Thomas PC, Veverka J, et al (2001) The nature of ponded deposits on Eros. Nature 413:396–400

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Attwood D, Baybutt P, Devlin C, et al (2006) Human Factors Methods for Improving Performance in the Process Industries. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Gunopulos D, Hofmann T, Malerba D, Vazirgiannis M (eds) (2011) Machine Learning and Knowledge Discovery in Databases: European Conference, ECML PKDD 2011, Athens, Greece, September 5-9, 2011. Proceedings, Part I. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
A chapter in an edited book
van der Veen M, Osseweijer P (2014) IPRs and the Transfer of Technologies that Combat Climate Change: The Untapped Potential of Licensing. In: Cahoy DR, Colburn JE (eds) Law and the Transition to Business Sustainability. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 85–102

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 (2014) Mutations Found In 115 Year Old Woman’s Blood Could Help Unlock Secrets Of Aging. 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 (1981) Unanswered Questions on Educating Handicapped Children in Local Public Schools. 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
Richardson MM (2013) Challenging the South’s black-white binary: Haliwa-Saponi Indians and political autonomy. Doctoral dissertation, University of North Carolina

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
Clarey C (2017) American Contingent’s Strength Is in Numbers, and Youth. New York Times B9

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Masood 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Tsodyks and Gilbert 2004; Masood 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Tsodyks and Gilbert 2004)
  • Three or more authors: (Robinson et al. 2001)

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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