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
Balter, M. 2000. EUROPEAN SCIENCE POLICY: France Rebels Against Gene-Patenting Law. Science (New York, N.Y.) 288:2115a.
A journal article with 2 authors
Rock, J. R., and B. L. M. Hogan. 2010. Developmental biology. Branching takes nerve. Science (New York, N.Y.) 329:1610–1611.
A journal article with 3 authors
Andrew, T. L., H.-Y. Tsai, and R. Menon. 2009. Confining light to deep subwavelength dimensions to enable optical nanopatterning. Science (New York, N.Y.) 324:917–921.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Yamashita, A., S. K. Singh, T. Kawate, Y. Jin, and E. Gouaux. 2005. Crystal structure of a bacterial homologue of Na+/Cl--dependent neurotransmitter transporters. Nature 437:215–223.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Stephanie Hammer. 2013. Architects of Electronic Trading. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
El-Osery, A., and J. Prevost, editors. 2015. Control and Systems Engineering: A Report on Four Decades of Contributions. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Sarma, B., and A. K. Sarma. 2016. Optimal Allocation of Ecological Management Practices in a Hilly Urban Watershed. Pages 35–47 in A. K. Sarma, V. P. Singh, S. A. Kartha, and R. K. Bhattacharjya, editors. Urban Hydrology, Watershed Management and Socio-Economic Aspects. 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.

Blog post
Fang, J. 2016, May 15. Dung Beetles Orient By Taking Snapshots Of Celestial Scenery. 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. 1994. NASA Property: Poor Lending Practices and Controls at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 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
Becker, L. A. 2010. Noncredit to credit transitions: The role of cultural capital and habitus for adult immigrant learners in the community college. 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
Liptak, A., and M. Wines. 2017, May 15. Justices Thwart Strict Voter ID Law That Unevenly Hurt Blacks. 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 (Balter 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Balter 2000, Rock and Hogan 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Rock and Hogan 2010)
  • Three or more authors: (Yamashita et al. 2005)

About the journal

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

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