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
Amigo I. 2015. Science made me a better parent. Science 350(6265): 1286.
A journal article with 2 authors
Najemnik J, Geisler WS. 2005. Optimal eye movement strategies in visual search. Nature 434(7031): 387–391.
A journal article with 3 authors
Laepple T, Werner M, Lohmann G. 2011. Synchronicity of Antarctic temperatures and local solar insolation on orbital timescales. Nature 471(7336): 91–94.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Zhang Y-X, Perry K, Vinci VA, Powell K, Stemmer WPC, del Cardayré SB. 2002. Genome shuffling leads to rapid phenotypic improvement in bacteria. Nature 415(6872): 644–646.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Knudsen S. 2005. Cancer Diagnostics with DNA Microarrays. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Martin U, editor. 2009. Engineering of Stem Cells. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer. (Advances in Biochemical Engineering / Biotechnology; Vol. 114).
A chapter in an edited book
Semeraro G, Basile P, de Gemmis M, Lops P. 2007. Discovering User Profiles from Semantically Indexed Scientific Papers. In: Berendt B, Hotho A, Mladenic D, Semeraro G, editors. From Web to Social Web: Discovering and Deploying User and Content Profiles: Workshop on Web Mining, WebMine 2006, Berlin, Germany, September 18, 2006. Revised Selected and Invited Papers. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer. p. 61–81.

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
Andrew E. 2015 Jul 21. Elon Musk Announces Why SpaceX Rocket Exploded Earlier This Year. 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. 1998. Executive Guide: Leading Practices in Capital Decision-Making (Superseded by AIMD-99-32). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Report No.: AIMD-98-110.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Woods BA. 2006. The Perceived Efficacy of an Empowerment Model of Youth Development among Vermont Educational Leaders [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
Yablonsky L. 2011 Sep 11. Imps of the Perverse. New York Times: M250.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Amigo, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Najemnik and Geisler, 2005; Amigo, 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Najemnik and Geisler, 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (Zhang et al., 2002)

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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