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
Sharp, K. A. 2014. Biochemistry. Protein folding, interrupted. Science (New York, N.Y.) 343: 743–744.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ödman-Govender, C. J., and D. Kelleghan. 2011. SPORE series winner. Astronomical perspectives for young children. Science (New York, N.Y.) 333: 1106–1107.
A journal article with 3 authors
Moynier, F., Q.-Z. Yin, and E. Schauble. 2011. Isotopic evidence of Cr partitioning into Earth’s core. Science (New York, N.Y.) 331: 1417–1420.
A journal article with 9 or more authors
Himanen, J. P., K. R. Rajashankar, M. Lackmann, C. A. Cowan, M. Henkemeyer, and D. B. Nikolov. 2001. Crystal structure of an Eph receptor-ephrin complex. Nature 414: 933–938.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lado, E. P. 2016. The Common Fisheries Policy. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Chakraborty, B. 2013. Statistical Methods for Dynamic Treatment Regimes: Reinforcement Learning, Causal Inference, and Personalized Medicine. Edited by Erica E. M. Moodie. Statistics for Biology and Health. New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Scatena, R., P. Bottoni, and B. Giardina. 2009. Cellular Respiration and Dedifferentiation. In Cellular Respiration and Carcinogenesis, ed. R. Sarangarajan and S. Apte, 45–54. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press.

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. 2016. Fight, Flight Or … Faint? Why Some People Pass Out When They See Blood Or Feel Pain. IFLScience. IFLScience. May 2.


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. 2014. Computer Matching Act: OMB and Selected Agencies Need to Ensure Consistent Implementation. GAO-14-44. 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
Stroud, M. 2012. Solar desalination in the southwest United States: A thermoeconomic analysis utilizing the sun to desalt water in high irradiance regions. Doctoral dissertation, Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona.

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
Hodgman, J. 2017. Bonus Advice From Judge John Hodgman. New York Times, June 16.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Sharp 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Ödman-Govender and Kelleghan 2011; Sharp 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Ödman-Govender and Kelleghan 2011)
  • Three or more authors: (Himanen et al. 2001)

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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