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
Hatzes AP (2014) The role of space telescopes in the characterization of transiting exoplanets. Nature 513:353–357
A journal article with 2 authors
Cho US, Xu W (2007) Crystal structure of a protein phosphatase 2A heterotrimeric holoenzyme. Nature 445:53–57
A journal article with 3 authors
Halpern BS, Cottenie K, Broitman BR (2006) Strong top-down control in southern California kelp forest ecosystems. Science 312:1230–1232
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Li W, Kuai L, Chen L, Geng B (2013) “Re-growth etching” to large-sized porous gold nanostructures. Sci Rep 3:2377

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Wen S, Huang P (2017) Principles of Tribology. John Wiley & Sons Singapore Pte. Ltd., Singapore
An edited book
(2013) Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Springer, New York, NY
A chapter in an edited book
Farina D, Laffranchi F, Ravanelli M, Borghesi A, Maroldi R (2016) Imaging of the Lacrimal Drainage System and Interventional Radiology. In: Presutti L., Mattioli F. (eds) Endoscopic Surgery of the Lacrimal Drainage System. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 33–44

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
Andrew E (2014) Flat Semiconductors Possible With New Material.


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 (1998) NASA Procurement: Status of Efforts to Improve Oversight.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Branch J (2017) A Case Study of Perceptions and Experiences among African-American Males Regarding College Dropout Rates in a Community College. Doctoral dissertation, Northcentral 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
Witt JF (2016) Court Provocateur. New York Times BR27

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Hatzes 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Cho and Xu 2007; Hatzes 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Cho and Xu 2007)
  • Three or more authors: (Li et al. 2013)

About the journal

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

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