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
Bader, J.: Climate science: The origin of regional Arctic warming, Nature, 509, 167–168, 2014.
A journal article with 2 authors
Laanisto, L. and Hutchings, M. J.: Comment on “Worldwide evidence of a unimodal relationship between productivity and plant species richness,” Science, 350, 1177, 2015.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ye, Q., Krug, R. M., and Tao, Y. J.: The mechanism by which influenza A virus nucleoprotein forms oligomers and binds RNA, Nature, 444, 1078–1082, 2006.
A journal article with 100 or more authors
Frolov, S. M., Lüscher, S., Yu, W., Ren, Y., Folk, J. A., and Wegscheider, W.: Ballistic spin resonance, Nature, 458, 868–871, 2009.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Schwarz, D. R.: Reading the European Novel to 1900, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK, 2014.
An edited book
Cai, W.: Optical Metamaterials: Fundamentals and Applications, edited by: Shalaev, V., Springer, New York, NY, XII, 200 p. 90 illus. in color pp., 2010.
A chapter in an edited book
Ishiwatari, M.: Institution and Governance Related Learning from the East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, in: Disaster Recovery: Used or Misused Development Opportunity, edited by: Shaw, R., Springer Japan, Tokyo, 77–88, 2014.

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
Addicted Mice Don’t Lack Willpower – They’re Bored:, 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: Aviation and the Environment: FAA’s and NASA’s Research and Development Plans for Noise Reduction Are Aligned but the Prospects of Achieving Noise Reduction Goals Are Uncertain, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2008.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Haire, K. K.: Elucidation of the Role of Poly(ADP-Ribose) Polymerase in Drug-Induced Toxicity, Doctoral dissertation, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, 2015.

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
Grynbaum, M. M.: A Network vs. the President, New York Times, 6th July, B1, 2017.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Bader, 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Bader, 2014; Laanisto and Hutchings, 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Laanisto and Hutchings, 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Frolov et al., 2009)

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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