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
John, J.L., 2009. The future of saving our past. Nature 459, 775–776.
A journal article with 2 authors
Pilkey, O.H., Cooper, J.A.G., 2004. Climate. Society and sea level rise. Science 303, 1781–1782.
A journal article with 3 authors
Bridgham, J.T., Carroll, S.M., Thornton, J.W., 2006. Evolution of hormone-receptor complexity by molecular exploitation. Science 312, 97–101.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Rösler, C., Köck, J., Malim, M.H., Blum, H.E., von Weizsäcker, F., 2004. Comment on “Inhibition of hepatitis B virus replication by APOBEC3G.” Science 305, 1403; author reply 1403.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hao, L., Lawrence, J., 2006. Laser Surface Treatment of Bio-Implant Materials. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Oral, A.Y., Bahsi, Z.B., Ozer, M. (Eds.), 2014. International Congress on Energy Efficiency and Energy Related Materials (ENEFM2013): Proceedings, Antalya, Turkey, 9-12 October 2013, Springer Proceedings in Physics. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Kumar, V., Reinartz, W., 2012. Implementing the CRM Strategy, in: Reinartz, W. (Ed.), Customer Relationship Management: Concept, Strategy, and Tools, Springer Texts in Business and Economics. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 55–85.

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
Andrew, E., 2015. It’s A Crying Shame When Nobel Laureates Are Exposed As Sexist [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, 2002. Options to Enhance the Long-term Viability of the Essential Air Service Program (No. GAO-02-997R). 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
Crawford, M.J., 2009. Empire’s experts: The politics of knowledge in Spain’s royal monopoly of quina (1751–1808) (Doctoral dissertation). University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA.

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
Murphy, M.J.O., 2016. 105 Years Ago. New York Times C25.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (John, 2009).
This sentence cites two references (John, 2009; Pilkey and Cooper, 2004).

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

  • Two authors: (Pilkey and Cooper, 2004)
  • Three or more authors: (Rösler 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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