How to format your references using the Ecology and Society citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Ecology and Society. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Thomas, D. J. 2004. Evidence for deep-water production in the North Pacific Ocean during the early Cenozoic warm interval. Nature 430(6995):65–68.
A journal article with 2 authors
Eeva, T., and E. Lehikoinen. 2000. Recovery of breeding success in wild birds. Nature 403(6772):851–852.
A journal article with 3 authors
Evaristo, J., S. Jasechko, and J. J. McDonnell. 2015. Global separation of plant transpiration from groundwater and streamflow. Nature 525(7567):91–94.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Köhler, R., A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. C. Iotti, and F. Rossi. 2002. Terahertz semiconductor-heterostructure laser. Nature 417(6885):156–159.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Murphy, D. B., and M. W. Davidson. 2012. Fundamentals of Light Microscopy and Electronic Imaging. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Neutens, T., and P. Maeyer, editors. 2010. Developments in 3D Geo-Information Sciences. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Fulda, A. 2016. The Logic and Limits of the Party’s Social Management Approach in Maintaining Stability: Lessons from Bismarck. Pages 71–96 in S. Tsang and H. Men, editors. China in the Xi Jinping Era. Springer International Publishing, Cham.

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 Ecology and Society.

Blog post
Fang, J. 2014, December 24. Turkey’s Oldest Stone Tool Pinpoints Human Migration to Europe. IFLScience.


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. 2015. Strategic Sourcing: Opportunities Exist to Better Manage Information Technology Services Spending. 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
Ward, C. S. 2012. Movin’ Around. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, 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
Sisario, B. 2017, January 30. Concert Giants Seek Gold in New York Grit. New York Times:B1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Thomas 2004).
This sentence cites two references (Eeva and Lehikoinen 2000, Thomas 2004).

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

  • Two authors: (Eeva and Lehikoinen 2000)
  • Three or more authors: (Köhler et al. 2002)

About the journal

Full journal titleEcology and Society
AbbreviationConserv. Ecol.
ISSN (print)1195-5449
ScopeNature and Landscape Conservation

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