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
Weinberg, D. H. 2005. Astronomy. Mapping the large-scale structure of the universe. Science 309: 564–565.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ryan, K. K., and R. J. Seeley. 2013. Physiology. Food as a hormone. Science 339: 918–919.
A journal article with 3 authors
Rust, M. J., S. S. Golden, and E. K. O’Shea. 2011. Light-driven changes in energy metabolism directly entrain the cyanobacterial circadian oscillator. Science 331: 220–223.
A journal article with 9 or more authors
Guest, J. R., T. H. Stievater, G. Chen, E. A. Tabak, B. G. Orr, D. G. Steel, D. Gammon, and D. S. Katzer. 2001. Near-field coherent spectroscopy and microscopy of a quantum dot system. Science 293: 2224–2227.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Zhang, W., and M. Wan. 2016. Milling Simulation, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Bonchev, D., and D. H. Rouvray, eds. 2005. Complexity in Chemistry, Biology, and Ecology, Springer US.
A chapter in an edited book
Zielinski, A., C. Simon, and T. Wittl. 2009. Morphisto: Service-Oriented Open Source Morphology for German, p. 64–75. In C. Mahlow and M. Piotrowski [eds.], State of the Art in Computational Morphology: Workshop on Systems and Frameworks for Computational Morphology, SFCM 2009, Zurich, Switzerland, September 4, 2009. Proceedings. 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
Hale, T. 2016. Here’s How To Watch The Harvest Moon Eclipse Tonight. 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. 1995. U.S.-Japan Cooperative Development: Progress on FS-X Program Enhances Japanese Aerospace Capabilities. NSIAD-95-145. NSIAD-95-145 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
McCarroll, M. L. 2005. Exercise and Airway Clearing Devices in Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programs for Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Doctoral dissertation. Ohio State University.

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
Friedman, L., and J. Schwartz. 2017. Warm Gulf Fuels the Rain and Gives It Nowhere to Go. New York Times, August 28

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Weinberg 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Weinberg 2005; Ryan and Seeley 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Ryan and Seeley 2013)
  • Three or more authors: (Guest et al. 2001)

About the journal

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

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