How to format your references using the Molecular Ecology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Molecular 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
Elitzur, M. (2005). Astronomy. Masers in the sky. Science (New York, N.Y.), 309(5731), 71–72.
A journal article with 2 authors
Burke, A., & Robinson, L. F. (2012). The Southern Ocean’s role in carbon exchange during the last deglaciation. Science (New York, N.Y.), 335(6068), 557–561.
A journal article with 3 authors
Andrews-Hanna, J. C., Zuber, M. T., & Banerdt, W. B. (2008). The Borealis basin and the origin of the martian crustal dichotomy. Nature, 453(7199), 1212–1215.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Kim, K.-H., Kumar, B., Lee, K. Y., Park, H.-K., Lee, J.-H., Lee, H. H., … Kim, S.-W. (2013). Piezoelectric two-dimensional nanosheets/anionic layer heterojunction for efficient direct current power generation. Scientific Reports, 3, 2017.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Kramer-Moore, D., & Moore, M. (2012). Destructive Myths in Family Therapy. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
An edited book
Chen, Z. (2016). Toward Balanced Growth with Economic Agglomeration: Empirical Studies of China’s Urban-Rural and Interregional Development (M. Lu, Ed.). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Lee, K. W., Yau, J. X. R., Said, N., Yoon, S. J., Tan, C. K., Nguyen, L. V., & Thang, S. M. (2016). Designing a Collaborative Malaysian-Vietnamese Online Writing Project: A Design-Based Research. In J. E. Luaran, J. Sardi, A. Aziz, & N. A. Alias (Eds.), Envisioning the Future of Online Learning: Selected Papers from the International Conference on e-Learning 2015 (pp. 53–67). Singapore: 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 Molecular Ecology.

Blog post
Davis, J. (2016, July 11). Man-Made Climate Change Led To Hundreds Of Heatwave Deaths In Paris. Retrieved October 30, 2018, from IFLScience website:


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. (1989). Actions to Mitigate Aircraft Noise at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (No. T-RCED-90-4). 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
Li, X. (2008). Two essays on “mining market basket data: Models and applications in marketing” (Doctoral dissertation). George Washington University, Washington, DC.

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
Greenhouse, L. (2005, October 4). Justices Refuse to Hear Case Of Condemned Virginia Man. New York Times, p. A25.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Elitzur, 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Burke & Robinson, 2012; Elitzur, 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Burke & Robinson, 2012)
  • Three authors: (Andrews-Hanna, Zuber, & Banerdt, 2008)
  • 6 or more authors: (Kim et al., 2013)

About the journal

Full journal titleMolecular Ecology
AbbreviationMol. Ecol.
ISSN (print)0962-1083
ISSN (online)1365-294X
ScopeEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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