How to format your references using the Functional Ecology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Functional 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
Segal, E. (2010). Journal club. A computational biologist looks at how identical cells come to differ. Nature, 464(7287), 329.
A journal article with 2 authors
Flint, J., & Munafò, M. (2014). Schizophrenia: genesis of a complex disease. Nature, 511(7510), 412–413.
A journal article with 3 authors
Komatsu, T., Sekiya, T., & Nagata, K. (2013). DNA replication-dependent binding of CTCF plays a critical role in adenovirus genome functions. Scientific Reports, 3, 2187.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Chen, L., Guo, L., Li, Z., Zhang, H., Lin, J., Huang, J., … Chen, X. (2013). Towards intrinsic magnetism of graphene sheets with irregular zigzag edges. Scientific Reports, 3, 2599.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Silvia, T., & Anzur, T. (2011). Power Performance. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
An edited book
Kovačević, B. (2013). Adaptive Digital Filters (Z. Banjac & M. Milosavljević, Eds.). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Obukhovskii, V., Zecca, P., Van Loi, N., & Kornev, S. (2013). Second-Order Differential Inclusions. In P. Zecca, N. Van Loi, & S. Kornev (Eds.), Method of Guiding Functions in Problems of Nonlinear Analysis (pp. 105–129). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.

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 Functional Ecology.

Blog post
O`Callaghan, J. (2016, June 27). Solar Roadway To Be Installed On Route 66, But What’s The Point? Retrieved October 30, 2018, from IFLScience website:


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. (1969). Principles and Practices of Auditing in the ADP Systems Environment (No. 091019). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Caprile, J. A. (2016). The geochemical influence of trace element concentrations from marine sedimentary bedrock on freshwater streams in the western Transverse Mountain Ranges (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
Dobbins, J. (2017, April 7). How to Be an Airbnb Host Without Breaking the Law. New York Times, p. RE12.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Segal, 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Flint & Munafò, 2014; Segal, 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Flint & Munafò, 2014)
  • Three authors: (Komatsu, Sekiya, & Nagata, 2013)
  • 6 or more authors: (Chen et al., 2013)

About the journal

Full journal titleFunctional Ecology
AbbreviationFunct. Ecol.
ISSN (print)0269-8463
ISSN (online)1365-2435
ScopeEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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