How to format your references using the Ecological Research citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Ecological Research. 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
Geldner N (2014) Botany. Making phloem--a near-death experience. Science 345:875–876
A journal article with 2 authors
Menezes T, Roth C (2014) Symbolic regression of generative network models. Sci Rep 4:6284
A journal article with 3 authors
Hare TA, Camerer CF, Rangel A (2009) Self-control in decision-making involves modulation of the vmPFC valuation system. Science 324:646–648
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Treps N, Grosse N, Bowen WP, et al (2003) A quantum laser pointer. Science 301:940–943

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Carroll N (2013) Minerva’s Night Out. A John Wiley & Sons, Oxford
An edited book
Karantininis K (2007) Vertical Markets and Cooperative Hierarchies: The Role of Cooperatives in the Agri-Food Industry. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht
A chapter in an edited book
Montijano E, Sagüés C (2015) Fast Consensus with Chebyshev Polynomials. In: Sagüés C (ed) Distributed Consensus with Visual Perception in Multi-Robot Systems. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 89–126

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 Research.

Blog post
Andrew E (2015) First Ever Private Launch Site for Orbital Rockets Could be in New Zealand. In: IFLScience. Accessed 30 Oct 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 (2007) Emergency Preparedness: Current Emergency Alert System Has Limitations, and Development of a New Integrated System Will Be Challenging. 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
Paredes J (2017) Critical Support for Central American Newcomer Youth and Schooling in One Southern California High School. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach

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
Kelly C (2010) The Skipper Is Waiting. New York Times C29

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Geldner 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Geldner 2014; Menezes and Roth 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Menezes and Roth 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Treps et al. 2003)

About the journal

Full journal titleEcological Research
AbbreviationEcol. Res.
ISSN (print)0912-3814
ISSN (online)1440-1703
ScopeEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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