How to format your references using the Ecology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Ecology. 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
Sharp, K. A. 2014. Biochemistry. Protein folding, interrupted. Science (New York, N.Y.) 343:743–744.
A journal article with 2 authors
Barton, R. A., and P. H. Harvey. 2000. Mosaic evolution of brain structure in mammals. Nature 405:1055–1058.
A journal article with 3 authors
Baer, B., S. A. O. Armitage, and J. J. Boomsma. 2006. Sperm storage induces an immunity cost in ants. Nature 441:872–875.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Massé, K., S. Bhamra, R. Eason, N. Dale, and E. A. Jones. 2007. Purine-mediated signalling triggers eye development. Nature 449:1058–1062.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ansons, A. M., and H. Davis. 2008. Diagnosis and Management of Ocular Motility Disorders. Blackwell Science Ltd, Oxford, UK.
An edited book
Connelly, R., A. Ivić Weiss, and W. Whiteley, editors. 2014. Rigidity and Symmetry. Springer, New York, NY.
A chapter in an edited book
Krauss, J. K. 2009. History of Stereotactic Surgery in Germany. Pages 53–58 in A. M. Lozano, P. L. Gildenberg, and R. R. Tasker, editors. Textbook of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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.

Blog post
Andrew, E. 2014, June 26. Scientists Grow Miniature Beating Hearts In The Lab. 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. 2012. Spectrum Management: Incentives, Opportunities, and Testing Needed to Enhance Spectrum Sharing. 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
Amezcua, D. 2016. Increasing academic success for foster youth: Educational workshops and resource guides: A grant proposal. 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
Cooper, H., M. R. Gordon, and E. Schmitt. 2017, June 11. Defense Chief Maintains Distance From President. 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 (Sharp 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Barton and Harvey 2000, Sharp 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Barton and Harvey 2000)
  • Three or more authors: (Massé et al. 2007)

About the journal

Full journal titleEcology
ISSN (print)0012-9658
ScopeEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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