How to format your references using the Coral Reefs citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Coral Reefs. 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
Hoeijmakers JH (2001) Genome maintenance mechanisms for preventing cancer. Nature 411:366–374
A journal article with 2 authors
Bostwick KS, Prum RO (2005) Courting bird sings with stridulating wing feathers. Science 309:736
A journal article with 3 authors
Xu X, Su Y, Fan ZH (2014) Cotinine concentration in serum correlates with tobacco smoke-induced emphysema in mice. Sci Rep 4:3864
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Holmes EC, Lipman DJ, Zamarin D, Yewdell JW (2006) Comment on “Large-scale sequence analysis of avian influenza isolates.” Science 313:1573; author reply 1573

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ghaye T (2008) Developing the Reflective Healthcare Team. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford, UK
An edited book
(2012) Advances in Future Computer and Control Systems: Volume 2. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
A chapter in an edited book
Almendros-Jiménez JM, Becerra-Terón A (2016) XQuery-Based Query Processing in Open Street Map. In: Grueau C., Gustavo Rocha J. (eds) Geographical Information Systems Theory, Applications and Management: First International Conference, GISTAM 2015, Barcelona, Spain, April 28-30, 2015, Revised Selected Papers. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 50–68

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 Coral Reefs.

Blog post
Hamilton K (2015) Male Seahorse Gives Birth To Babies Like An Underwater Shotgun.


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 (2009) School Meal Programs: Improved Reviews, Federal Guidance, and Data Collection Needed to Address Counting and Claiming Errors.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Campbell AJ (2012) History transformed: Sengoku Daimyo in Japanese popular media. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach

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
Brantley B (2017) The Dystopia Next Door. New York Times C14

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Hoeijmakers 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Hoeijmakers 2001; Bostwick and Prum 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Bostwick and Prum 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (Holmes et al. 2006)

About the journal

Full journal titleCoral Reefs
AbbreviationCoral Reefs
ISSN (print)0722-4028
ISSN (online)1432-0975
ScopeAquatic Science

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