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
Sarewitz, D. 2013. Science’s rightful place is in service of society. Nature 502(7473):595.
A journal article with 2 authors
Shah, R. R., and N. L. Abbott. 2001. Principles for measurement of chemical exposure based on recognition-driven anchoring transitions in liquid crystals. Science (New York, N.Y.) 293(5533):1296–1299.
A journal article with 3 authors
Brown, T., W. Sibbett, and E. M. Wright. 2001. Laser physics. Getting to grips with light. Science (New York, N.Y.) 293(5533):1265–1267.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Wang, Y. J., H. Cheng, R. L. Edwards, Z. S. An, J. Y. Wu, C. C. Shen, and J. A. Dorale. 2001. A high-resolution absolute-dated late Pleistocene Monsoon record from Hulu Cave, China. Science (New York, N.Y.) 294(5550):2345–2348.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Pease, G. 2015. Optimize Your Greatest Asset-Your People. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Janjuha-Jivraj, S. 2016. Championing Women Leaders: Beyond Sponsorship. Page (K. Chisholm, editor). Palgrave Macmillan UK, London.
A chapter in an edited book
Nziali, E., and A. Fayolle. 2015. Early-Stage Businesses, Resource Inheritance, and Coworkers Hiring: The Moderating Role of Founder’s Human Capital. Pages 75–91 in R. Baptista and J. Leitão, editors. Entrepreneurship, Human Capital, and Regional Development: Labor Networks, Knowledge Flows, and Industry Growth. 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
Hale, T. 2015, October 30. Watch Live As An Enormous Asteroid Whizzes Past Earth This Halloween. 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. 1998. Student Testing: Issues Related to Voluntary National Mathematics and Reading Tests. 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
Stott, N. M. 2012. Beta cell compensatory factors in nicotinic acid-induced insulin resistance. 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
Greenhouse, L. 2005, September 30. New Leader, Tough Issues for Court in Transition. New York Times:A1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Sarewitz 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Shah and Abbott 2001, Sarewitz 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Shah and Abbott 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Wang et al. 2001)

About the journal

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

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