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
Ferry, D. K. (2012). Applied physics. Ohm’s law in a quantum world. Science (New York, N.Y.), 335(6064), 45–46.
A journal article with 2 authors
Tarasov, L., & Peltier, W. R. (2005). Arctic freshwater forcing of the Younger Dryas cold reversal. Nature, 435(7042), 662–665.
A journal article with 3 authors
Verhagen, J. H., Herfst, S., & Fouchier, R. A. M. (2015). Infectious disease. How a virus travels the world. Science (New York, N.Y.), 347(6222), 616–617.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Song, H., Kim, Y., Jang, Y. H., Jeong, H., Reed, M. A., & Lee, T. (2009). Observation of molecular orbital gating. Nature, 462(7276), 1039–1043.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Gramß, T., Bornholdt, S., Groß, M., Mitchell, M., & Pellizzari, T. (2005). Non-Standard Computation. Weinheim, FRG: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Lee, Y., Bien, Z. Z., Mokhtari, M., Kim, J. T., Park, M., Kim, J., … Khalil, I. (Eds.). (2010). Aging Friendly Technology for Health and Independence: 8th International Conference on Smart Homes and Health Telematics, ICOST 2010, Seoul, Korea, June 22-24, 2010. Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Tan, Z., Li, X., & Mao, W. (2011). Agent-Based Modeling of Netizen Groups in Chinese Internet Events. In M. Chau, G. A. Wang, X. Zheng, H. Chen, D. Zeng, & W. Mao (Eds.), Intelligence and Security Informatics: Pacific Asia Workshop, PAISI 2011, Beijing, China, July 9, 2011. Proceedings (pp. 43–53). Berlin, Heidelberg: 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
Andrew, E. (2015, November 11). From ‘Right To Die’ To ‘Right To Choose The Way You Die’ – The Shifting Euthanasia Debate. 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. (1994). Medicare: New Claims Processing System Benefits and Acquisition Risks (No. HEHS/AIMD-94-79). 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
Harrison, A. B. (2012). Knowing the familiar (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
Schwartz, J. (2016, November 16). Climate Deal Called Too Weak to Meet Goals. New York Times, p. A12.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Ferry, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Ferry, 2012; Tarasov & Peltier, 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Tarasov & Peltier, 2005)
  • Three authors: (Verhagen, Herfst, & Fouchier, 2015)
  • 6 or more authors: (Song et al., 2009)

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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