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
Lawler, A. 2000. ASTROBIOLOGY: Ames’s Proposal for Lab Triggers Battle at NASA. Science 289: 23a.
A journal article with 2 authors
Destexhe, A., and E. Marder. 2004. Plasticity in single neuron and circuit computations. Nature 431: 789–795.
A journal article with 3 authors
Gillis, A. J., A. P. Schuller, and E. Skordalakes. 2008. Structure of the Tribolium castaneum telomerase catalytic subunit TERT. Nature 455: 633–637.
A journal article with 9 or more authors
Billas, I. M. L., T. Iwema, J.-M. Garnier, A. Mitschler, N. Rochel, and D. Moras. 2003. Structural adaptability in the ligand-binding pocket of the ecdysone hormone receptor. Nature 426: 91–96.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
The Family Firm Institute, Inc. 2013. Family Enterprise, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Beck, D. E., S. D. Wexner, T. L. Hull, P. L. Roberts, T. J. Saclarides, A. J. Senagore, M. J. Stamos, and S. R. Steele, eds. 2014. The ASCRS Manual of Colon and Rectal Surgery, 2nd ed. 2014. Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Fezza, F., C. De Simone, D. Amadio, and M. Maccarrone. 2008. Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase: A Gate-Keeper of the Endocannabinoid System, p. 101–132. In P.J. Quinn and X. Wang [eds.], Lipids in Health and Disease. Springer Netherlands.

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
Hale, T. 2016. Preschoolers Know If You Owe Them Something, According To Psychologists. 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. 1987. [Comments on Proposed Oregon Purchase of Rail Line With Oil Overcharge Settlement]. B-226517. B-226517 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
Valenzuela, J. 2014. Medicare advantage’s population make-up and its impact on the future of Medicare financing. Doctoral dissertation. California State University, Long Beach.

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
Neuman, W. 2015. In Colombia, Land Mines Are Cleared, Inch by Inch. New York Times, April 20

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Lawler 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Lawler 2000; Destexhe and Marder 2004).

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

  • Two authors: (Destexhe and Marder 2004)
  • Three or more authors: (Billas et al. 2003)

About the journal

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

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