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
Chapman, G. A. 2008. Astronomy. Aspects of our Sun. Science (New York, N.Y.) 322:535–536.
A journal article with 2 authors
Federman, S. R., and E. D. Young. 2009. Comment on “Experimental test of self-shielding in vacuum ultraviolet photodissociation of CO.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 324:1516; author reply 1516.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kohli, R. M., C. T. Walsh, and M. D. Burkart. 2002. Biomimetic synthesis and optimization of cyclic peptide antibiotics. Nature 418:658–661.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Lee, M.-H., A. Kumar, K.-B. Park, S.-Y. Cho, H.-M. Kim, M.-C. Lim, Y.-R. Kim, and K.-B. Kim. 2014. A low-noise solid-state nanopore platform based on a highly insulating substrate. Scientific reports 4:7448.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Pohl, J. 2011. Building Science. Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK.
An edited book
Robert-McComb, J. J., R. Norman, and M. Zumwalt, editors. 2008. The Active Female: Health Issues Throughout The Lifespan. Humana Press, Totowa, NJ.
A chapter in an edited book
Kaburaki, T. 2015. Ocular Involvement. Pages 55–78 in Y. Ishigatsubo, editor. Behçet’s Disease: From Genetics to Therapies. Springer Japan, Tokyo.

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. 2015, October 27. What Happens To Men Who Stay Abstinent Until Marriage? 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. 2008. Next Generation Air Transportation System: Status of Systems Acquisition and the Transition to the Next Generation Air Transportation 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
Villa, J. 2017. Multicultural Training for Mental Health Professionals Working in the Juvenile Justice System. 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
Neuman, W. 2015, August 30. In a Venezuelan Town, a State of Emergency Is Barely Perceptible. New York Times:A10.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Chapman 2008).
This sentence cites two references (Chapman 2008, Federman and Young 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Federman and Young 2009)
  • Three or more authors: (Lee et al. 2014)

About the journal

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

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