How to format your references using the Limnology and Oceanography citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Limnology and Oceanography. 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
Basu, S. 2012. Astronomy. Brown-dwarf origins. Science 337: 43–44.
A journal article with 2 authors
Gulden, F. O., and N. Šestan. 2014. Neurobiology: building a bigger brain. Nature 515: 206–207.
A journal article with 3 authors
Bryden, H. L., E. L. McDonagh, and B. A. King. 2003. Changes in ocean water mass properties: oscillations or trends? Science 300: 2086–2088.
A journal article with 9 or more authors
Wang, H., T. Liu, Y. Huang, Y. Fang, R. Liu, S. Wang, W. Wen, and M. Sun. 2014. Plasmon-driven surface catalysis in hybridized plasmonic gap modes. Sci. Rep. 4: 7087.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lakshminarayana, B. 2007. Fluid Dynamics and Heat Transfer of Turbomachinery, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Gaggioli, A. 2013. Networked Flow: Towards an Understanding of Creative Networks, G. Riva, L. Milani, and E. Mazzoni [eds.]. Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Durairajanayagam, D., A. K. Rengan, R. K. Sharma, and A. Agarwal. 2015. Sperm Biology from Production to Ejaculation, p. 29–42. In G.L. Schattman, S.C. Esteves, and A. Agarwal [eds.], Unexplained Infertility: Pathophysiology, Evaluation and Treatment. 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 Limnology and Oceanography.

Blog post
Luntz, S. 2014. Early Ancestor’s Skull Growth “Not Human-Like.” IFLScience.


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. 2014. Export Controls: NASA Management Action and Improved Oversight Needed to Reduce the Risk of Unauthorized Access to Its Technologies. GAO-14-315. GAO-14-315 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
Murray, E. 2012. California community college athletic directors lived experience and perceptions about financing issues with athletic programs. Doctoral dissertation. University of Phoenix.

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
Hollander, S. 2000. Stevenson Also Seeking Maturity. New York Times, August 30

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Basu 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Basu 2012; Gulden and Šestan 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Gulden and Šestan 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Wang et al. 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleLimnology and Oceanography
AbbreviationLimnol. Oceanogr.
ISSN (print)0024-3590
ISSN (online)1939-5590
ScopeAquatic Science

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