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
White, T. 2003. Paleoanthropology. Early hominids--diversity or distortion? Science 299: 1994–1997.
A journal article with 2 authors
Karl, T. R., and K. E. Trenberth. 2003. Modern global climate change. Science 302: 1719–1723.
A journal article with 3 authors
Yanagisawa, S., S.-D. Yoo, and J. Sheen. 2003. Differential regulation of EIN3 stability by glucose and ethylene signalling in plants. Nature 425: 521–525.
A journal article with 9 or more authors
Gurnett, D. A., P. Zarka, R. Manning, W. S. Kurth, G. B. Hospodarsky, T. F. Averkamp, M. L. Kaiser, and W. M. Farrell. 2001. Non-detection at Venus of high-frequency radio signals characteristic of terrestrial lightning. Nature 409: 313–315.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Alvarez, P. J. J., and W. A. Illman. 2005. Bioremediation and Natural Attenuation, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Regine, G. 2012. Ecocontrastografia dell’apparato urinario, M. Atzori and R. Fabbri [eds.]. Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Pugalendhi, G. K., M. David, and A. A. Victoire. 2011. A Hybrid Approach to Estimate True Density Function for Gene Expression Data, p. 44–54. In D. Nagamalai, E. Renault, and M. Dhanuskodi [eds.], Advances in Digital Image Processing and Information Technology: First International Conference on Digital Image Processing and Pattern Recognition, DPPR 2011, Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, India, September 23-25, 2011. 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
Andrews, R. 2017. NASA Picks Groin Airlock As Winner Of Space Poop Competition. 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. 2000. National Airspace System: Problems Plaguing the Wide Area Augmentation System and FAA’s Actions to Address Them. T-RCED-00-229. T-RCED-00-229 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
Ward, S. 2009. Historiography, prophecy, and literature: “Divina retribución” and its underlying ideological agenda. Doctoral dissertation. Indiana 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
Kelly, G. 2004. There’s No Politics In the Foxhole. New York Times, October 18

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (White 2003).
This sentence cites two references (White 2003; Karl and Trenberth 2003).

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

  • Two authors: (Karl and Trenberth 2003)
  • Three or more authors: (Gurnett 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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