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
Kuo AD. 2005. Biophysics. Harvesting energy by improving the economy of human walking. Science 309(5741): 1686–1687.
A journal article with 2 authors
Liou JC, Johnson NL. 2006. Planetary science. Risks in space from orbiting debris. Science 311(5759): 340–341.
A journal article with 3 authors
Rignot E, Mouginot J, Scheuchl B. 2011. Ice flow of the Antarctic ice sheet. Science 333(6048): 1427–1430.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Wang W, Liu Y, Tang L, Jin Y, Zhao T, Xiu F. 2014. Controllable Schottky barriers between MoS2 and permalloy. Sci Rep 4: 6928.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Dinet J. 2014. Information Retrieval in Digital Environments. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Hötzl H, Möller P, Rosenthal E, editors. 2009. The Water of the Jordan Valley: Scarcity and Deterioration of Groundwater and Its Impact on the Regional Development. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Chernus-Mansfield N. 2006. Breaking the News: The Role of the Physician. In: Wright KW, Spiegel PH, Thompson LS, editors. Handbook of Pediatric Neuro-Ophthalmology. New York, NY: Springer. p. 92–106.

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 Sep 17. How Does Your Choice Of University Affect Your Future? 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. 2010. Transit Rail: Potential Rail Car Cost-Saving Strategies Exist. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Report No.: GAO-10-730.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Trantham LC. 2012. PSA surveillance following radical prostatectomy: What we know and why it matters [Doctoral dissertation]. [Chapel Hill, NC]: University of North Carolina.

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
Kelly C. 2011 Aug 28. A No. 2 Theater Company Grabs the State Spotlight. New York Times: A25B.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Kuo, 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Kuo, 2005; Liou and Johnson, 2006).

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

  • Two authors: (Liou and Johnson, 2006)
  • Three or more authors: (Wang et al., 2014)

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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