How to format your references using the AMBIO citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for AMBIO. 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
Eliopoulos, A. G. 2008. Cell signaling. “Make and brake” in signaling. Science (New York, N.Y.) 321: 648–649.
A journal article with 2 authors
O’Toole, P. W., and I. B. Jeffery. 2015. Gut microbiota and aging. Science (New York, N.Y.) 350: 1214–1215.
A journal article with 3 authors
Komatsu, T., T. Sekiya, and K. Nagata. 2013. DNA replication-dependent binding of CTCF plays a critical role in adenovirus genome functions. Scientific reports 3: 2187.
A journal article with 9 or more authors
Cui, B., C. Song, G. Y. Wang, H. J. Mao, F. Zeng, and F. Pan. 2013. Strain engineering induced interfacial self-assembly and intrinsic exchange bias in a manganite perovskite film. Scientific reports 3: 2542.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hahn, G. J., and N. Doganaksoy. 2011. A Career in Statistics. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Moura Bernardes, A., M. A. Siqueira Rodrigues, and J. Zoppas Ferreira, ed. 2014. Electrodialysis and Water Reuse: Novel Approaches. Topics in Mining, Metallurgy and Materials Engineering. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Lê, M., J. Unkelbach, N. Ayache, and H. Delingette. 2015. GPSSI: Gaussian Process for Sampling Segmentations of Images. In Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention – MICCAI 2015: 18th International Conference, Munich, Germany, October 5-9, 2015, Proceedings, Part III, ed. N. Navab, J. Hornegger, W. M. Wells, and A. F. Frangi, 38–46. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

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 AMBIO.

Blog post
Luntz, S. 2016. Speedy Glacier Explained By Giant River Valley Beneath. IFLScience. IFLScience. June 15.


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. 1977. NASA Report May Overstate the Economic Benefits of Research and Development Spending. PAD-78-18. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Bustos, I. 2017. Backpacking Through My Suburban Barrio: Eco-Latina Diaries. Doctoral dissertation, Long Beach, CA: 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
Leland, J. 2017. Picking Fights, Dropping Names. New York Times, March 17.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Eliopoulos 2008).
This sentence cites two references (Eliopoulos 2008; O’Toole and Jeffery 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (O’Toole and Jeffery 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Cui et al. 2013)

About the journal

Full journal titleAMBIO
ISSN (print)0044-7447
ISSN (online)1654-7209
Environmental Chemistry
General Medicine
Geography, Planning and Development

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