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
Villeval, M. C. (2012). Economics. Ready, steady, compete. Science (New York, N.Y.), 335(6068), 544–545.
A journal article with 2 authors
Diffenbaugh, N. S., & Field, C. B. (2013). Changes in ecologically critical terrestrial climate conditions. Science (New York, N.Y.), 341(6145), 486–492.
A journal article with 3 authors
Jackson, D. P., Laws, P. W., & Franklin, S. V. (2012). IBI series winner. An inquiry-based curriculum for nonmajors. Science (New York, N.Y.), 335(6067), 418–419.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Wright, C. F., Teichmann, S. A., Clarke, J., & Dobson, C. M. (2005). The importance of sequence diversity in the aggregation and evolution of proteins. Nature, 438(7069), 878–881.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lawless, H. T. (2013). Quantitative Sensory Analysis. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons.
An edited book
Paternò, F., Ruyter, B. de, Markopoulos, P., Santoro, C., Loenen, E. van, & Luyten, K. (Eds.). (2012). Ambient Intelligence: Third International Joint Conference, AmI 2012, Pisa, Italy, November 13-15, 2012. Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Frey, M. D. (2006). Low kV Scanning Electron Microscopy. In W. Zhou & Z. L. Wang (Eds.), Scanning Microscopy for Nanotechnology: Techniques and Applications (pp. 101–119). 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
Andrew, E. (2014, October 9). Brightest Pulsar Ever Discovered Is 10 Million Times More Luminous Than Our Sun. 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. (1991). Tax System Modernization: Status of On-Line Files Initiative and Telecommunications Planning (No. IMTEC-91-41FS). 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
Mannar, N. K. (2017). Hri-Tech Consultants, LLC (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
Murphy, M. J. O. (2016, February 5). 101 Years Ago: ‘The Birth of a Nation’ Had its First Screenings. New York Times, p. C29.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Villeval, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Diffenbaugh & Field, 2013; Villeval, 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Diffenbaugh & Field, 2013)
  • Three authors: (Jackson, Laws, & Franklin, 2012)
  • 6 or more authors: (Wright, Teichmann, Clarke, & Dobson, 2005)

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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