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
Klug, D. D. 2001. Thermodynamics. Glassy Water. Science (New York, N.Y.) 294: 2305–2306.
A journal article with 2 authors
Holland, G., and C. J. Ballentine. 2006. Seawater subduction controls the heavy noble gas composition of the mantle. Nature 441: 186–191.
A journal article with 3 authors
Doeller, C. F., C. Barry, and N. Burgess. 2010. Evidence for grid cells in a human memory network. Nature 463: 657–661.
A journal article with 9 or more authors
Chang, S.-Y., C.-E. Li, Y.-C. Huang, H.-F. Hsu, J.-W. Yeh, and S.-J. Lin. 2014. Structural and thermodynamic factors of suppressed interdiffusion kinetics in multi-component high-entropy materials. Scientific reports 4: 4162.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Yakushevich, L. V. 2005. Nonlinear Physics of DNA. Weinheim, FRG: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Peters, M., ed. 2009. Computational Fluid Dynamics for Sport Simulation. Vol. 72. Lecture Notes in Computational Science and Engineering. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Shiraishi, M., and A. Ito. 2010. Disturbance Observer Design Based on Frequency Domain. In Next-Generation Actuators Leading Breakthroughs, ed. T. Higuchi, K. Suzumori, and S. Tadokoro, 31–43. London: 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
Carpineti, A. 2016. Astronomers Might Have Discovered A New Type Of Cosmic Explosion. IFLScience. IFLScience. October 21.


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. 2008. Traffic Safety: Improved Reporting and Performance Measures Would Enhance Evaluation of High-Visibility Campaigns. GAO-08-477. 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
Plosky, W. D. 2017. An Investment Case for Addressing Social Drivers of Structural Stigma and Discrimination Against Refugees in Resource-Poor Urban Areas. Doctoral dissertation, New York, NY: Columbia University.

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
Williams, J. 2016. Parade’s End. New York Times, August 14.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Klug 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Klug 2001; Holland and Ballentine 2006).

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

  • Two authors: (Holland and Ballentine 2006)
  • Three or more authors: (Chang et al. 2014)

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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