How to format your references using the Geophysical Research Letters citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Geophysical Research Letters. 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
Dunn, B. (2012). Cancer: Solving an age-old problem. Nature, 483(7387), S2-6.
A journal article with 2 authors
Laage, D., & Hynes, J. T. (2006). A molecular jump mechanism of water reorientation. Science (New York, N.Y.), 311(5762), 832–835.
A journal article with 3 authors
Taylor, M. W., Thacker, R. W., & Hentschel, U. (2007). Genetics. Evolutionary insights from sponges. Science (New York, N.Y.), 316(5833), 1854–1855.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Okamoto, S., Inaba, K., Iida, T., Ishihara, H., Ichikawa, S., & Ashida, M. (2014). Fabrication of single-crystalline microspheres with high sphericity from anisotropic materials. Scientific Reports, 4, 5186.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Menk, F. W., & Waters, C. L. (2013). Magnetoseismology. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Hofmann-Wellenhof, B. (2008). GNSS — Global Navigation Satellite Systems: GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and more. (H. Lichtenegger & E. Wasle, Eds.). Vienna: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Heldrich, C. (2011). Birth Trauma. In A. H. Ross & S. M. Abel (Eds.), The Juvenile Skeleton in Forensic Abuse Investigations (pp. 49–60). Totowa, NJ: Humana Press.

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 Geophysical Research Letters.

Blog post
Carpineti, A. (2016, November 28). How The Brightest Supernovae Become Superluminous. Retrieved October 30, 2018, from


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. (1997). Education Programs: Major Issues Affecting Postsecondary Education, School-to-Work, and Youth Employment Programs (No. HEHS-97-212R). 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
Mylonas, A. (2014). “Women are the pillars of the family”: Athenian women’s survival strategies during economic crisis (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
St. John Kelly, E. (1995, January 29). F.Y.I. New York Times, p. 132.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Dunn, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Dunn, 2012; Laage & Hynes, 2006).

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

  • Two authors: (Laage & Hynes, 2006)
  • Three or more authors: (Okamoto et al., 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleGeophysical Research Letters
AbbreviationGeophys. Res. Lett.
ISSN (print)0094-8276
ISSN (online)1944-8007
ScopeGeneral Earth and Planetary Sciences

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