How to format your references using the Elementa citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Elementa. 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
Wible B. 2012. Rio+20. Science for sustainable development. Science 336(6087): 1396.
A journal article with 2 authors
Knouse KA, Amon A. 2015. Cell biology: the micronucleus gets its big break. Nature 522(7555): 162–163.
A journal article with 3 authors
Scatena LF, Brown MG, Richmond GL. 2001. Water at hydrophobic surfaces: weak hydrogen bonding and strong orientation effects. Science 292(5518): 908–912.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Gomes R, Levison HF, Tsiganis K, Morbidelli A. 2005. Origin of the cataclysmic Late Heavy Bombardment period of the terrestrial planets. Nature 435(7041): 466–469.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Fant KM. 2005. Logically Determined Design. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Tymieniecka A-T, editor. 2005. The Enigma of Good and Evil; The Moral Sentiment in Literature. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands. (Analecta Husserliana, The Yearbook of Phenomenological Research; Vol. 85).
A chapter in an edited book
Procesi C. 2009. The spirit of algebra. In: Emmer M, Quarteroni A, editors. Mathknow: Mathematics, Applied Sciences and Real Life. Milano: Springer. p. 37–57.

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 Elementa.

Blog post
Davis J. 2017 Jun 2. US States Ignore White House And Form A “Climate Alliance” To Continue Decarbonization. IFLScience. 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. 2001. Early Childhood Programs: The Use of Impact Evaluations to Assess Program Effects. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Report No.: GAO-01-542.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Thomas Hurford CE. 2010. “In his arm the scar”: Medicine, race, and the social implications of the 1721 inoculation controversy on Boston [Doctoral dissertation]. [Columbus, OH]: Ohio State University.

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
Sisario B. 2017 Feb 9. Prince Estate in Deal With Universal. New York Times: C2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Wible, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Wible, 2012; Knouse and Amon, 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Knouse and Amon, 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Gomes et al., 2005)

About the journal

Full journal titleElementa
AbbreviationElementa (Wash., DC)
ISSN (online)2325-1026
ScopeAtmospheric Science
Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
Environmental Engineering

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