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
Coscia, M. (2014). Average is boring: how similarity kills a meme’s success. Scientific Reports, 4, 6477.
A journal article with 2 authors
Cohen, S. M., & Brennecke, J. (2006). Developmental biology. Mixed messages in early development. Science (New York, N.Y.), 312(5770), 65–66.
A journal article with 3 authors
Dominguez, P., Jacobson, A. G., & Jefferies, R. P. S. (2002). Paired gill slits in a fossil with a calcite skeleton. Nature, 417(6891), 841–844.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Miller, S., Pfund, C., Pribbenow, C. M., & Handelsman, J. (2008). The pipeline. Scientific teaching in practice. Science (New York, N.Y.), 322(5906), 1329–1330.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Meyr, H., Moeneclaey, M., & Fechtel, S. A. (2001). Digital Communication Receivers: Synchronization, Channel Estimation, and Signal Processing. New York, USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Dai, H., Liu, J. N. K., & Smirnov, E. (Eds.). (2012). Reliable Knowledge Discovery. Boston, MA: Springer US.
A chapter in an edited book
González-Navarro, F. F., & Belanche-Muñoz, L. A. (2011). Parsimonious Selection of Useful Genes in Microarray Gene Expression Data. In H. R. Arabnia & Q.-N. Tran (Eds.), Software Tools and Algorithms for Biological Systems (pp. 45–55). New York, NY: 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
Luntz, S. (2014, May 15). John Oliver Does Science Communication Right. 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. (1987). Railroad Regulation: Shipper Experiences and Current Issues in ICC Regulation of Rail Rates (No. RCED-87-119). 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
Cuellar, D. (2011). Impact of boring insects on the reproductive success of Hesperoyucca whipplei (Our Lord’s candle) (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
Vecsey, G. (2010, December 6). An Old-Fashioned Drubbing In December. New York Times, p. D5.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Coscia, 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Cohen & Brennecke, 2006; Coscia, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Cohen & Brennecke, 2006)
  • Three authors: (Dominguez, Jacobson, & Jefferies, 2002)
  • 6 or more authors: (Miller, Pfund, Pribbenow, & Handelsman, 2008)

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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