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
Vinge JD (2000) Murphy’s cat. Nature 408:649
A journal article with 2 authors
Mehta R, Zhu RJ (2009) Blue or red? Exploring the effect of color on cognitive task performances. Science 323:1226–1229
A journal article with 3 authors
Hanna JB, Schmitt D, Griffin TM (2008) The energetic cost of climbing in primates. Science 320:898
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Wang CT, Grishanin R, Earles CA, Chang PY, Martin TF, Chapman ER, Jackson MB (2001) Synaptotagmin modulation of fusion pore kinetics in regulated exocytosis of dense-core vesicles. Science 294:1111–1115

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Wartewig S (2005) IR and Raman Spectroscopy. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, FRG
An edited book
(2012) Biocommunication of Fungi. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht
A chapter in an edited book
Casares ER, Sobarzo H (2016) Externalities, Optimal Subsidy and Growth. In: Pinto A.A., Accinelli Gamba E., Yannacopoulos A.N., Hervés-Beloso C. (eds) Trends in Mathematical Economics: Dialogues Between Southern Europe and Latin America. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 53–71

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
Hale T (2015) Robotics Firm Creates 3D-Printed Superhero Prosthetic Arms.


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 (1973) Review of Selected Aspects of the Bilingual Education Program.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Tourijigian L (2015) Fiscal Changes at Dunbar Elementary. Doctoral dissertation, Southern Illinois 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
Cordes K (2015) Mountaineering’s Greatest Climb Unravels. New York Times SR5

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Vinge 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Vinge 2000; Mehta and Zhu 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Mehta and Zhu 2009)
  • Three or more authors: (Wang 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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