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
Kreeger, K., 2004. Short-term limbo. Nature 427, 760–761.
A journal article with 2 authors
Parmesan, C., Yohe, G., 2003. A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems. Nature 421, 37–42.
A journal article with 3 authors
Külheim, C., Agren, J., Jansson, S., 2002. Rapid regulation of light harvesting and plant fitness in the field. Science 297, 91–93.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Mummery-Widmer, J.L., Yamazaki, M., Stoeger, T., Novatchkova, M., Bhalerao, S., Chen, D., Dietzl, G., Dickson, B.J., Knoblich, J.A., 2009. Genome-wide analysis of Notch signalling in Drosophila by transgenic RNAi. Nature 458, 987–992.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bâzu, M., Băjenescu, T., 2011. Failure Analysis. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Verstovsek, S., Tefferi, A. (Eds.), 2011. Myeloproliferative Neoplasms: Biology and Therapy, Contemporary Hematology. Humana Press, Totowa, NJ.
A chapter in an edited book
Thumati, B.T., Sarangapani, J., 2009. Estimation and Control of Nonlinear Discrete-time Systems, in: Yu, W. (Ed.), Recent Advances in Intelligent Control Systems. Springer, London, pp. 89–124.

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
Carpineti, A., 2016. Rare Wandering Black Hole Spotted Drifting Alone Through A Distant Galaxy [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, 1976. National Aeronautical Facilities Program: Issues Related to Its Cost and Need (No. LCD-75-329). 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
Ressler, K.M., 2008. The path to leadership for Native American women at North Dakota tribal colleges (Doctoral dissertation). Capella University, Minneapolis, MN.

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
Vecsey, G., 2009. Reason to Believe But Also To Be Cautious. New York Times D1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Kreeger, 2004).
This sentence cites two references (Kreeger, 2004; Parmesan and Yohe, 2003).

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

  • Two authors: (Parmesan and Yohe, 2003)
  • Three or more authors: (Mummery-Widmer et al., 2009)

About the journal

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

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