How to format your references using the Earth System Science Data citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Earth System Science Data. 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
Gould, P.: Portraits of science. Two good women, or too good to be true?, Science, 296, 1805–1806, 2002.
A journal article with 2 authors
Burgisser, A. and Bergantz, G. W.: A rapid mechanism to remobilize and homogenize highly crystalline magma bodies, Nature, 471, 212–215, 2011.
A journal article with 3 authors
Izawa, Y., Pun, D., and Stahl, S. S.: Palladium-catalyzed aerobic dehydrogenation of substituted cyclohexanones to phenols, Science, 333, 209–213, 2011.
A journal article with 100 or more authors
Cheng, H.-B., Zhang, Y.-M., Xu, C., and Liu, Y.: Photoresponsive supramolecular complexes as efficient DNA regulator, Sci. Rep., 4, 4210, 2014.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Sanders, S.: Seizures in Dogs and Cats, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ, 2015.
An edited book
Rockman, M. and Flatman, J. (Eds.): Archaeology in Society: Its Relevance in the Modern World, Springer, New York, NY, XXIII, 317 p. 9 illus., 5 illus. in color pp., 2012.
A chapter in an edited book
Farhadian, C. E. and Emmons, R. A.: The Psychology of Forgiveness in the World Religions, in: Forgiveness and Reconciliation: Psychological Pathways to Conflict Transformation and Peace Building, edited by: Paloutzian, R. F., Springer, New York, NY, 55–70, 2010.

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 Earth System Science Data.

Blog post
8 Million Tons Of Plastic Entered Our Oceans In 2010:, last access: 30 October 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: Domestic Aviation: Service Problems and Limited Competition Continue in Some Markets, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1998.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Britt, C. A.: Dying in America: A historical analysis of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia, Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA, 2012.

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
Rothenberg, B.: Halep, Resigned to Defeat, Finds Out It’s Not Over Till It’s Over, New York Times, 7th June, B13, 2017.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Gould, 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Gould, 2002; Burgisser and Bergantz, 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Burgisser and Bergantz, 2011)
  • Three or more authors: (Cheng et al., 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleEarth System Science Data
AbbreviationEarth Syst. Sci. Data
ISSN (print)1866-3508
ISSN (online)1866-3516
ScopeGeneral Earth and Planetary Sciences

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