How to format your references using the The American Midland Naturalist citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for The American Midland Naturalist. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Knudsen, E. I. 2002. Instructed learning in the auditory localization pathway of the barn owl. Nature, 417:322–328.
A journal article with 2 authors
Atkinson, T. and M. Leeder. 2008. Geology. Canyon cutting on a grand time scale. Science, 319:1343–1344.
A journal article with 3 authors
Wardle, D. A., L. R. Walker and R. D. Bardgett. 2004. Ecosystem properties and forest decline in contrasting long-term chronosequences. Science, 305:509–513.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Boamfa, M. I., M. W. Kim, J. C. Maan and T. Rasing. 2003. Observation of surface and bulk phase transitions in nematic liquid crystals. Nature, 421:149–152.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Zink, M. 2005. Scalable Video on Demand. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd,., West Sussex, England.
An edited book
Herman, T. 2008. Visual Basic 2008 Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach A. Jones, M. MacDonald, and R. Rajan (eds.). Apress, Berkeley, CA. XXII, 704 p p.
A chapter in an edited book
Debois, S., T. Hildebrandt and T. Slaats. 2015. Concurrency and Asynchrony in Declarative Workflows. p. 72–89. In: H. R. Motahari-Nezhad, J. Recker, and M. Weidlich (eds.). Business Process Management: 13th International Conference, BPM 2015, Innsbruck, Austria, August 31 -- September 3, 2015, Proceedings. Springer International Publishing, Cham.

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 The American Midland Naturalist.

Blog post
O`Callaghan, J. 2017. We Just Got An Amazing View Of A Huge Lava Lake On Jupiter’s Moon Io. 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. 2005. Business Systems Modernization: Internal Revenue Service’s Fiscal Year 2005 Expenditure Plan. 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
Ortiz, J. A. 2014. New graduate nurses’ experiences of what accounts for their lack of professional confidence during their first year of practice. Capella University, Minneapolis, MN.

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
Otis, J. 2016. ‘You Need to Change’: A Grandmother’s Words Help Turn a Life Around.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Knudsen, 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Knudsen, 2002; Atkinson and Leeder, 2008).

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

  • Two authors: (Atkinson and Leeder, 2008)
  • Three or more authors: (Boamfa et al., 2003)

About the journal

Full journal titleThe American Midland Naturalist
AbbreviationAm. Midl. Nat.
ISSN (print)0003-0031
ISSN (online)1938-4238
ScopeEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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