How to format your references using the Methods in Ecology and Evolution citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 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
Coleman, P. (2007). Frontier at your fingertips. Nature, 446(7134), 379.
A journal article with 2 authors
Schrag, D. P., & Hoffman, P. F. (2001). Life, geology and snowball Earth. Nature, 409(6818), 306.
A journal article with 3 authors
van den Engh, G., Nelson, P., & Roach, J. (2000). Numismatic gyrations. Nature, 408(6812), 540.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Zhou, P., Ross, R. A., Pywell, C. M., Liangpunsakul, S., & Duffield, G. E. (2014). Disturbances in the murine hepatic circadian clock in alcohol-induced hepatic steatosis. Scientific Reports, 4, 3725.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Morsali, A., & Hashemi, L. (2017). Main Group Metal Coordination Polymers. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Bunke, H. (2007). A Graph-Theoretic Approach to Enterprise Network Dynamics. (P. J. Dickinson, M. Kraetzl, & W. D. Wallis, Eds.) (Vol. 24). Boston, MA: Birkhäuser.
A chapter in an edited book
El-Metwally, S., Ouda, O. M., & Helmy, M. (2014). Next-Generation Sequencing Platforms. In O. M. Ouda & M. Helmy (Eds.), Next Generation Sequencing Technologies and Challenges in Sequence Assembly (pp. 37–44). New York, NY: 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 Methods in Ecology and Evolution.

Blog post
Hamilton, K. (2016, November 30). Which Sports Are Best For Health And Long Life? Retrieved 30 October 2018, from


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. (1997). Year 2000 Computing Crisis: Risk of Serious Disruption to Essential Government Functions Calls for Agency Action Now (No. T-AIMD-97-52). 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
Perfitt, T. (2009). Megaphone: Fault tolerant, scalable, and trustworthy peer-to-peer microblogging (Doctoral dissertation). California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

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
Murphy, M. J. O. (2015, June 19). Weekend Entertainments From the Archives of The New York Times. New York Times, p. C27.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Coleman, 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Schrag & Hoffman, 2001; Coleman, 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Schrag & Hoffman, 2001)
  • Three authors: (van den Engh, Nelson, & Roach, 2000)
  • 6 or more authors: (Zhou, Ross, Pywell, Liangpunsakul, & Duffield, 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleMethods in Ecology and Evolution
AbbreviationMethods Ecol. Evol.
ISSN (online)2041-210X
ScopeEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Ecological Modelling

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