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
Schier, A. F. (2007). The maternal-zygotic transition: death and birth of RNAs. Science (New York, N.Y.), 316(5823), 406–407.
A journal article with 2 authors
Gatfield, D., & Schibler, U. (2007). Physiology. Proteasomes keep the circadian clock ticking. Science (New York, N.Y.), 316(5828), 1135–1136.
A journal article with 3 authors
Krieger, M. J., Billeter, J. B., & Keller, L. (2000). Ant-like task allocation and recruitment in cooperative robots. Nature, 406(6799), 992–995.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Latta, C., Haupt, F., Hanl, M., Weichselbaum, A., Claassen, M., Wuester, W., … Imamoglu, A. (2011). Quantum quench of Kondo correlations in optical absorption. Nature, 474(7353), 627–630.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
O’Connor, K., & Aardema, F. (2011). Clinician’s Handbook for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Akhmediev, N., & Ankiewicz, A. (Eds.). (2005). Dissipative Solitons. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Chang, N., & Terano, T. (2015). Mining Latent Attributes in Neighborhood for Recommender Systems. In N. Mastorakis, A. Bulucea, & G. Tsekouras (Eds.), Computational Problems in Science and Engineering (pp. 129–140). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

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
Taub, B. (2016, October 28). You Can Now 3D Print Your Own Cosmic Microwave Background. 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. (2010). Student Loans: Federal Web-based Tool on Private Loans Would Pose Implementation Challenges and May Be Unnecessary (No. GAO-10-990). 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
Caltrider, C. S. (2017). Critical Pedagogy Unit of Ceramics Instruction: Fostering Civic Engagement in California High School Students (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
Saslow, L. (2009, May 17). A Federal Program Helps Flip Houses on Long Island. New York Times, p. LI7.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Schier, 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Gatfield & Schibler, 2007; Schier, 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Gatfield & Schibler, 2007)
  • Three authors: (Krieger, Billeter, & Keller, 2000)
  • 6 or more authors: (Latta et al., 2011)

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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