How to format your references using the Ecological Complexity citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Ecological Complexity. 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
Vaux, D.L., 2012. Research methods: Know when your numbers are significant. Nature 492, 180–181.
A journal article with 2 authors
Trauger, J.T., Traub, W.A., 2007. A laboratory demonstration of the capability to image an Earth-like extrasolar planet. Nature 446, 771–773.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ingle, N.J.C., Beasley, M.R., Geballe, T.H., 2002. Superconductivity in a spin-ladder cuprate. Science 295, 1967.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Crookes, W.J., Ding, L.-L., Huang, Q.L., Kimbell, J.R., Horwitz, J., McFall-Ngai, M.J., 2004. Reflectins: the unusual proteins of squid reflective tissues. Science 303, 235–238.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Webb, R.C., 2005. Tele-Visionaries. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Berezin, V. (Ed.), 2010. Structure and Function of the Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule NCAM, Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. Springer, New York, NY.
A chapter in an edited book
Claessen, K., Svensson, H., 2008. Finding Counter Examples in Induction Proofs, in: Beckert, B., Hähnle, R. (Eds.), Tests and Proofs: Second International Conference, TAP 2008, Prato, Italy, April 9-11, 2008. Proceedings, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 48–65.

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 Ecological Complexity.

Blog post
Evans, K., 2017. Your Pet Is Actually A Sneaky Master Of Doggie Deception [WWW Document]. IFLScience. URL (accessed 10.30.18).


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, 1985. ADP Equipment: Buying Through GSA’s Office of Technology Plus Stores (No. IMTEC-86-2BR). U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Yobby, J., 2017. Application of Genetic Algorithm Optimization of Thermodynamic Fluids Designs (Doctoral dissertation). Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL.

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
Protess, B., 2017. From the London Whale to Wells Fargo, a Bank Regulator Looks Back. New York Times B5.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Vaux, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Trauger and Traub, 2007; Vaux, 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Trauger and Traub, 2007)
  • Three or more authors: (Crookes et al., 2004)

About the journal

Full journal titleEcological Complexity
AbbreviationEcol. Complex.
ISSN (print)1476-945X
ScopeEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Ecological Modelling

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