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
Sukhdev P (2009) Costing the earth. Nature 462:277
A journal article with 2 authors
Cockell CS, Stokes MD (2004) Ecology: widespread colonization by polar hypoliths. Nature 431:414
A journal article with 3 authors
Shcherbina AY, Talley LD, Rudnick DL (2003) Direct observations of North Pacific ventilation: brine rejection in the Okhotsk Sea. Science 302:1952–1955
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Tian F, Duan D, Li D, et al (2014) Miscibility and ordered structures of MgO-ZnO alloys under high pressure. Sci Rep 4:5759

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Sofronas A (2005) Analytical Troubleshooting of Process Machinery and Pressure Vessels. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Vitek J (ed) (2010) Objects, Models, Components, Patterns: 48th International Conference, TOOLS 2010, Málaga, Spain, June 28–July 2, 2010. Proceedings. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
A chapter in an edited book
Davendra D (2010) Evolutionary Algorithms and the Edge of Chaos. In: Zelinka I, Celikovsky S, Richter H, Chen G (eds) Evolutionary Algorithms and Chaotic Systems. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 145–161

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) Carnivores In Captivity: A Question Of Motive And Ethics. 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 (2002) Homeland Security: Information Technology Funding and Associated Management Issues. 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
Nambiar VR (2012) A Grounded Theory Study on Business Excellence Models in the United Arab Emirates. Doctoral dissertation, University of Phoenix

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
Hagerdon MLK (2016) The Triangle. New York Times A14

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Sukhdev 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Cockell and Stokes 2004; Sukhdev 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Cockell and Stokes 2004)
  • Three or more authors: (Tian et al. 2014)

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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