How to format your references using the Conservation Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Conservation Biology. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Smaglik P. 2003. Physical paradoxes. Nature 424:705.
A journal article with 2 authors
Silk J, Chluba J. 2014. Astronomy. Next steps for cosmology. Science (New York, N.Y.) 344:586–588.
A journal article with 3 authors
Baulch HM, Stanley EH, Bernhardt ES. 2011. Can algal uptake stop NO3(-) pollution? Nature 477:E3; discussion E3-4.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Ting DT et al. 2011. Aberrant overexpression of satellite repeats in pancreatic and other epithelial cancers. Science (New York, N.Y.) 331:593–596.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
AIChE Equipment Testing Procedure. 1987. Tray Distillation Columns. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Jawahar CV, Shan S, editors. 2015. Computer Vision - ACCV 2014 Workshops: Singapore, Singapore, November 1-2, 2014, Revised Selected Papers, Part III. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Costello LC, Franklin RB. 2009. Integration of Genetic, Proteomic, and Metabolic Approaches in Tumor Cell Metabolism. Pages 79–92 in Costello L, Singh K, editors. Mitochondria and Cancer. Springer, New York, NY.

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 Conservation Biology.

Blog post
Andrew E. 2014, August 1. Thousands Of These Bizarre Blue Animals Wash Up Along California Shores. IFLScience. Available from (accessed October 30, 2018).


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. 1997. Airfield Pavements. RCED-97-50R. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Fuentez OL. 2010. Proposition 21: Juveniles tried as adults. Doctoral dissertation. California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

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
Greenhouse L. 2007, October 11. Guantánamo Detainees Enjoy Historic Protections, Administration Says. New York Times:A29.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Smaglik 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Smaglik 2003; Silk & Chluba 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Silk & Chluba 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Ting et al. 2011)

About the journal

Full journal titleConservation Biology
AbbreviationConserv. Biol.
ISSN (print)0888-8892
ISSN (online)1523-1739
ScopeEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Nature and Landscape Conservation

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