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
Fontana, W. 2006. Chemistry. Pulling strings. Science (New York, N.Y.) 314: 1552–1553.
A journal article with 2 authors
Kennis, J. T. M., and S. Crosson. 2007. Microbiology. A bacterial pathogen sees the light. Science (New York, N.Y.) 317: 1041–1042.
A journal article with 3 authors
Yu, H., H. Tang, and P. Xu. 2014. Green strategy from waste to value-added-chemical production: efficient biosynthesis of 6-hydroxy-3-succinoyl-pyridine by an engineered biocatalyst. Scientific reports 4: 5397.
A journal article with 9 or more authors
Bao, H., I. J. Fairchild, P. M. Wynn, and C. Spötl. 2009. Stretching the envelope of past surface environments: Neoproterozoic glacial lakes from Svalbard. Science (New York, N.Y.) 323: 119–122.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ytterdal, T., Y. Cheng, and T. A. Fjeldly. 2003. Device Modeling for Analog and RF CMOS Circuit Design. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Schieferdecker, I., and A. Hartman, ed. 2008. Model Driven Architecture – Foundations and Applications: 4th European Conference, ECMDA-FA 2008, Berlin, Germany, June 9-13, 2008. Proceedings. Vol. 5095. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Trigatti, B. 2006. Role of the Scavenger Receptor Class B Type I in Lipoprotein Metabolism and Atherosclerosis: Insight from Genetically Altered Mice. In Biochemistry of Atherosclerosis, ed. S. K. Cheema, 53–69. Boston, MA: Springer US.

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
Andrew, E. 2014. Densely Populated Countries Could Find Food Independence With Vertical Floating Farms. IFLScience. IFLScience. September 10.


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. 2013. Army Networks: Size and Scope of Modernization Investment Merit Increased Oversight. GAO-13-179. 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
Tucker, M. S. 2010. Phenotypic and genotypic analysis of in vitro selected artemisinin resistant Plasmodium falciparum. Doctoral dissertation, Tampa, FL: University of South Florida.

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
Sisario, B. 2016. Frank Ocean Takes Unusual Journey to No. 1. New York Times, August 30.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Fontana 2006).
This sentence cites two references (Fontana 2006; Kennis and Crosson 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Kennis and Crosson 2007)
  • Three or more authors: (Bao et al. 2009)

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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