How to format your references using the Microbial Ecology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Microbial Ecology. 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
Johnstone RA (2002) The evolution of inaccurate mimics. Nature 418:524–526
A journal article with 2 authors
De Angelis H, Skvarca P (2003) Glacier surge after ice shelf collapse. Science 299:1560–1562
A journal article with 3 authors
Scherer E, Munker C, Mezger K (2001) Calibration of the lutetium-hafnium clock. Science 293:683–687
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Liu M, Bian C, Zhang J, Wen F (2014) Apolipoprotein E gene polymorphism and Alzheimer’s disease in Chinese population: a meta-analysis. Sci Rep 4:4383

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Piantadosi S (2005) Clinical Trials: A Methodologic Perspective. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Kubicek H (2011) Organizational Interoperability in E-Government: Lessons from 77 European Good-Practice Cases. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
A chapter in an edited book
Kontorovich V, Lovtchikova Z (2009) Cumulant Analysis of Strange Attractors: Theory and Applications. In: Kyamakya K, Halang WA, Unger H, et al (eds) Recent Advances in Nonlinear Dynamics and Synchronization: Theory and Applications. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 77–115

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 Microbial Ecology.

Blog post
Andrew D (2016) Mums And Dads Of Very Preterm Babies More Likely To Be Depressed. In: IFLScience. Accessed 30 Oct 2018


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 (1996) SSA Initiatives to Identify Coaching. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Zellner KM (2008) An examination of grade distribution patterns and grade inflation at a baccalaureate nursing program. Doctoral dissertation, Capella 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
Healy J (2013) Utah Judge Unexpected as a Hero to Gay People. New York Times A11

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [1].
This sentence cites two references [1, 2].
This sentence cites four references [1–4].

About the journal

Full journal titleMicrobial Ecology
AbbreviationMicrob. Ecol.
ISSN (print)0095-3628
ISSN (online)1432-184X
ScopeEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Soil Science

Other styles