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
Klibanov, A. M. 2001. Improving enzymes by using them in organic solvents. Nature 409:241–246.
A journal article with 2 authors
Krumholz, M. R., and C. F. McKee. 2008. A minimum column density of 1 g cm(-2) for massive star formation. Nature 451:1082–1084.
A journal article with 3 authors
Antonovics, J., M. E. Hood, and C. H. Baker. 2006. Molecular virology: was the 1918 flu avian in origin? Nature 440:E9; discussion E9-10.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Luo, Y., S. Wan, D. Hui, and L. L. Wallace. 2001. Acclimatization of soil respiration to warming in a tall grass prairie. Nature 413:622–625.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Baguley, D., G. Andersson, D. McFerran, and L. McKenna. 2013. Tinnitus: A Multidisciplinary Approach. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., West Sussex, UK.
An edited book
Law, E. L.-C., E. T. Hvannberg, and G. Cockton, editors. 2008. Maturing Usability: Quality in Software, Interaction and Value. Springer, London.
A chapter in an edited book
Lu, G., V. Ly, X. Wang, R. M.v., O. Ayala, L.-P. Wang, and C. Kambhamettu. 2013. A Tool for Visualizing Large-Scale Interactions between Turbulence and Particles in 3D Space through 2D Trajectory Visualization. Pages 48–57 in G. Bebis, R. Boyle, B. Parvin, D. Koracin, B. Li, F. Porikli, V. Zordan, J. Klosowski, S. Coquillart, X. Luo, M. Chen, and D. Gotz, editors. Advances in Visual Computing: 9th International Symposium, ISVC 2013, Rethymnon, Crete, Greece, July 29-31, 2013. Proceedings, Part II. 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, D. 2017, June 6. Here’s What Could Happen To Earth Over The Next 500 Years If We Ignore Climate Change. 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. 1999. Direct Student Loans: Overpayments During the Department of Education’s Conversion to a New Payment System. 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
Chen, M. S. 2014. Emergency shelter for abused and neglected elders A grant proposal project. 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
Brantley, B. 2017, January 13. Activists Haunted by Their K.G.B. Ordeal. New York Times:C5.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Klibanov 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Klibanov 2001, Krumholz and McKee 2008).

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

  • Two authors: (Krumholz and McKee 2008)
  • Three or more authors: (Luo et al. 2001)

About the journal

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

Other styles