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
Bull JJ (2015) Evolution: Reptile sex determination goes wild. Nature 523:43–44
A journal article with 2 authors
Bannerman DM, Sprengel R (2007) Neuroscience. Remembering the subtle differences. Science 317:50–51
A journal article with 3 authors
Brown CD, Johnson DS, Sidow A (2007) Functional architecture and evolution of transcriptional elements that drive gene coexpression. Science 317:1557–1560
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Falck J, Mailand N, Syljuåsen RG, Bartek J, Lukas J (2001) The ATM-Chk2-Cdc25A checkpoint pathway guards against radioresistant DNA synthesis. Nature 410:842–847

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
De Larminat P (2014) Climate Change. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
(2012) Achieving Systems Safety: Proceedings of the Twentieth Safety-Critical Systems Symposium, Bristol, UK, 7-9th February 2012. Springer, London
A chapter in an edited book
Scovazzi T (2015) Intangible Cultural Heritage as Defined in the 2003 UNESCO Convention. In: Golinelli G.M. (eds) Cultural Heritage and Value Creation: Towards New Pathways. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 105–126

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
Fang J (2014) Females Rise in Baboon Ranks With Help From Moms and Sisters.


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 (1988) Bridge Condition Assessment: Inaccurate Data May Cause Inequities in the Apportionment of Federal-Aid Funds.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Moon MM (2009) The needs of Korean-American and Korean families of children with disabilities. Doctoral dissertation, George Washington 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
Greenhouse L (2007) Supreme Court Turns Down Detainees’ Habeas Corpus Case. New York Times A18

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Bull 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Bannerman and Sprengel 2007; Bull 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Bannerman and Sprengel 2007)
  • Three or more authors: (Falck et al. 2001)

About the journal

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

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