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
McDowell N. 2002. Britain failing to bar risky students. Nature 420(6914): 349.
A journal article with 2 authors
Moyle LC, Nakazato T. 2010. Hybrid incompatibility “snowballs” between Solanum species. Science 329(5998): 1521–1523.
A journal article with 3 authors
McNamara JM, Barta Z, Houston AI. 2004. Variation in behaviour promotes cooperation in the Prisoner’s Dilemma game. Nature 428(6984): 745–748.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Schoonveld WA, Wildeman J, Fichou D, Bobbert PA, van Wees BJ, Klapwijk TM. 2000. Coulomb-blockade transport in single-crystal organic thin-film transistors. Nature 404(6781): 977–980.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Luther GW III. 2016. Inorganic Chemistry for Geochemistry and Environmental Sciences. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Bliesemann de Guevara B, editor. 2016. Myth and Narrative in International Politics: Interpretive Approaches to the Study of IR. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK.
A chapter in an edited book
Horvath J, Hoge L, Cameron R. 2016. Making and Using Sewing Patterns. In: Hoge L, Cameron R, editors. Practical Fashion Tech: Wearable Technologies for Costuming, Cosplay, and Everyday. Berkeley, CA: Apress. p. 57–80.

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. 2016 May 10. There Are Just Three Saharan Addax Left In The Wild. IFLScience. IFLScience. Available at Accessed 2018 Oct 30.


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. 1995. School Facilities: America’s Schools Not Designed or Equipped for 21st Century. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Report No.: HEHS-95-95.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Ortiz Martinez B. 2009. Diabetes among older Latino adults [Doctoral dissertation]. [Long Beach, CA]: California State University, Long Beach.

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
Belson K, Pilon M. 2012 Oct 31. Marathon Is Set to Go On, Stirring Debate. New York Times: B11.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (McDowell, 2002).
This sentence cites two references (McDowell, 2002; Moyle and Nakazato, 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Moyle and Nakazato, 2010)
  • Three or more authors: (Schoonveld et al., 2000)

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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