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
Hestmark, G., 2000. Temptations of the tree. Nature 408, 911.
A journal article with 2 authors
Cheng, Z., Tsourkas, A., 2014. Monitoring phospholipase A₂ activity with Gd-encapsulated phospholipid liposomes. Sci. Rep. 4, 6958.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ellis, A.S., Johnson, T.M., Bullen, T.D., 2002. Chromium isotopes and the fate of hexavalent chromium in the environment. Science 295, 2060–2062.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Devarapalli, R.R., Debgupta, J., Pillai, V.K., Shelke, M.V., 2014. C@SiNW/TiO2 core-shell nanoarrays with sandwiched carbon passivation layer as high efficiency photoelectrode for water splitting. Sci. Rep. 4, 4897.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hamad, W.Y., 2017. Cellulose Nanocrystals. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Arezes, P. (Ed.), 2016. Advances in Safety Management and Human Factors: Proceedings of the AHFE 2016 International Conference on Safety Management and Human Factors , July 27-31, 2016, Walt Disney World®, Florida, USA, Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Fifka, M., Loza Adaui, C.R., 2015. Managing Stakeholders for the Sake of Business and Society, in: O’Riordan, L., Zmuda, P., Heinemann, S. (Eds.), New Perspectives on Corporate Social Responsibility: Locating the Missing Link. Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, pp. 71–87.

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, D., 2017. Weekend Warrior Exercise: Is It Good For You? [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, 1980. First Look at Senior Executive Service Performance Awards (No. FPCD-80-74). 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
Pelayo, A.M., 2008. A case study on the development of team -based leadership structure in the hospital industry (Doctoral dissertation). University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ.

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., 2010. A Friend’s Mistake, An Understudy’s Chance. New York Times SP5.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Hestmark, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Cheng and Tsourkas, 2014; Hestmark, 2000).

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

  • Two authors: (Cheng and Tsourkas, 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Devarapalli et al., 2014)

About the journal

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

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