How to format your references using the Journal of Ecology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Journal of 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
Smaglik, P. (2003). Experience counts. Nature, 424(6952), 1089.
A journal article with 2 authors
Volkow, N. D., & Baler, R. D. (2012). Neuroscience. To stop or not to stop? Science (New York, N.Y.), 335(6068), 546–548.
A journal article with 3 authors
James, A., Pitchford, J. W., & Plank, M. J. (2013). James et al. reply. Nature, 500(7463), E2-3.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Faxén, K., Gilderson, G., Adelroth, P., & Brzezinski, P. (2005). A mechanistic principle for proton pumping by cytochrome c oxidase. Nature, 437(7056), 286–289.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lhabitant, F.-S. (2004). Hedge Funds. Oxford, UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
An edited book
Gelbukh, A. (Ed.). (2012). Computational Linguistics and Intelligent Text Processing: 13th International Conference, CICLing 2012, New Delhi, India, March 11-17, 2012, Proceedings, Part I. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Mishra, B. B., Gundra, U. M., & Teale, J. M. (2009). Toll-Like Receptors in CNS Parasitic Infections. In T. Kielian (Ed.), Toll-like Receptors: Roles in Infection and Neuropathology (pp. 83–104). Berlin, Heidelberg: 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 Journal of Ecology.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2015, August 12). Archaeologists Believe They May Have Found Queen Nefertiti’s Tomb. 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. (2007). Motor Carrier Safety: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Has Developed a Reasonable Framework for Managing and Testing Its Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 Initiative (No. GAO-08-242R). 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
Pokhrel, P. (2010). Towards improved identification of spatially-distributed rainfall runoff models (Doctoral dissertation). University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

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
Ruiz, R. R. (2016, October 5). Sharapova Suspension Is Cut by Nine Months. New York Times, p. B8.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Smaglik, 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Smaglik, 2003; Volkow & Baler, 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Volkow & Baler, 2012)
  • Three authors: (James, Pitchford, & Plank, 2013)
  • 6 or more authors: (Faxén, Gilderson, Adelroth, & Brzezinski, 2005)

About the journal

Full journal titleJournal of Ecology
AbbreviationJ. Ecol.
ISSN (print)0022-0477
ISSN (online)1365-2745
ScopeEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Plant Science

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