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
Yeomans, D. (2000). Small bodies of the Solar System. Nature, 404(6780), 829–832.
A journal article with 2 authors
Tomita, M., & Murakami, M. (2003). High-temperature superconductor bulk magnets that can trap magnetic fields of over 17 tesla at 29 K. Nature, 421(6922), 517–520.
A journal article with 3 authors
Roditi, H. A., Fisher, N. S., & Sañudo-Wilhelmy, S. A. (2000). Uptake of dissolved organic carbon and trace elements by zebra mussels. Nature, 407(6800), 78–80.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Sibert, J., Hampton, J., Kleiber, P., & Maunder, M. (2006). Biomass, size, and trophic status of top predators in the Pacific Ocean. Science (New York, N.Y.), 314(5806), 1773–1776.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Garton, A. F. (2008). Exploring Cognitive Development: The Child as Problem Solver. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
An edited book
Rainieri, C. (2014). Operational Modal Analysis of Civil Engineering Structures: An Introduction and Guide for Applications. (G. Fabbrocino, Ed.). New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Behera, S. K., Chae, S.-H., Yeo, H.-K., & Park, H.-S. (2015). Enhancement of Eco-production Capacity in Chittagong Export Processing Zone (CEPZ), Bangladesh, Employing Korean EIP Transition Strategy. In S. M. Dev & S. Yedla (Eds.), Cities and Sustainability: Issues and Strategic Pathways (pp. 63–80). New Delhi: Springer India.

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
Fang, J. (2015, September 21). Giraffes Hum At Night. 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. (2012). Transportation-Disadvantaged Populations: Federal Coordination Efforts Could Be Further Strengthened (No. GAO-12-647). 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
Rich, J. B. (2009). Guinevere takes her seat at the Round Table—or does she? Moving a primary Western myth forward (Doctoral dissertation). Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, 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
Kelly, S. (1995, August 13). Children’s Books. New York Times, p. 723.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Yeomans, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Tomita & Murakami, 2003; Yeomans, 2000).

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

  • Two authors: (Tomita & Murakami, 2003)
  • Three or more authors: (Sibert et al., 2006)

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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