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
Mysak, L. A. 2001. Oceanography. Patterns of Arctic circulation. Science (New York, N.Y.) 293: 1269–1270.
A journal article with 2 authors
Poulsen, H., and P. Nissen. 2012. Structural biology. The inner workings of a dynamic duo. Science (New York, N.Y.) 335: 416–417.
A journal article with 3 authors
Oye, K. A., J. C. H. Lawson, and T. Bubela. 2015. Drugs: Regulate “home-brew” opiates. Nature 521: 281–283.
A journal article with 9 or more authors
Cayuela, M. L., M. A. Sánchez-Monedero, A. Roig, K. Hanley, A. Enders, and J. Lehmann. 2013. Biochar and denitrification in soils: when, how much and why does biochar reduce N₂O emissions? Scientific reports 3: 1732.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Moloney, M. G. 2015. How to Solve Organic Reaction Mechanisms. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Chawla, N. 2013. Metal Matrix Composites. Edited by Krishan K. Chawla. 2nd ed. 2013. New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Park, K.-H., and H.-Y. Song. 2008. A Probabilistic Approach on Estimating the Number of Modular Sonar Sequences. In Sequences and Their Applications - SETA 2008: 5th International Conference Lexington, KY, USA, September 14-18, 2008 Proceedings, ed. S. W. Golomb, M. G. Parker, A. Pott, and A. Winterhof, 42–50. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.

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
O`Callaghan, J. 2015. This “Hedgehog” Robot Could Hop And Tumble Over Asteroids And Comets. IFLScience. IFLScience. September 4.


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. 1990. Railroad Safety: New Approach Needed for Effective FRA Safety Inspection Program. RCED-90-194. 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
Bain Butler, D. 2010. How L2 legal writers use strategies for scholarly writing: A mixed methods study. Doctoral dissertation, College Park, MD: 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
Pilon, M. 2013. Russia Is Persuaded To Alter Statement To Call for Inclusion. New York Times, September 15.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Mysak 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Mysak 2001; Poulsen and Nissen 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Poulsen and Nissen 2012)
  • Three or more authors: (Cayuela 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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