How to format your references using the Acta Oecologica citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Acta Oecologica. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Wassarman, P.M., 2014. Reproductive biology: Sperm protein finds its mate. Nature 508, 466–467.
A journal article with 2 authors
Hoorn, C., Flantua, S., 2015. Geology. An early start for the Panama land bridge. Science 348, 186–187.
A journal article with 3 authors
Barry, L., Craig, G.C., Thuburn, J., 2002. Poleward heat transport by the atmospheric heat engine. Nature 415, 774–777.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Borovikova, L.V., Ivanova, S., Zhang, M., Yang, H., Botchkina, G.I., Watkins, L.R., Wang, H., Abumrad, N., Eaton, J.W., Tracey, K.J., 2000. Vagus nerve stimulation attenuates the systemic inflammatory response to endotoxin. Nature 405, 458–462.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lui, S.H., 2011. Numerical Analysis of Partial Differential Equations. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Zihl, J., 2015. Cerebral Visual Impairment in Children: Visuoperceptive and Visuocognitive Disorders. Springer, Vienna.
A chapter in an edited book
Durand-Lasserve, A., Selod, H., 2009. The Formalization of Urban Land Tenure in Developing Countries, in: Lall, S.V., Freire, M., Yuen, B., Rajack, R., Helluin, J.-J. (Eds.), Urban Land Markets: Improving Land Management for Successful Urbanization. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp. 101–132.

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 Acta Oecologica.

Blog post
Hale, T., 2015. An Enormous Piece Of Space Junk Will Crash Into The Ocean Tomorrow [WWW Document]. IFLScience. URL (accessed 10.30.18).


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, 1995. Adult Education Review (No. HEHS-95-65R). 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
Cosma, A.C., 2019. Real-Time Individual Thermal Preferences Prediction Using Visual Sensors (Doctoral dissertation). George Washington University, Washington, DC.

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
Pilon, M., 2014. Code of Honor, Not a Referee, Governs Curlers. New York Times B10.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Wassarman, 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Hoorn and Flantua, 2015; Wassarman, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Hoorn and Flantua, 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Borovikova et al., 2000)

About the journal

Full journal titleActa Oecologica
AbbreviationActa Oecol. (Montrouge)
ISSN (print)1146-609X
ScopeEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Nature and Landscape Conservation

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