How to format your references using the Theoretical Ecology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Theoretical 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.
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
Schlotterer C (2003) Genetics. Where do male genes live? Science 299:670–671
A journal article with 2 authors
Nicholson DW, Thornberry NA (2003) Apoptosis. Life and death decisions. Science 299:214–215
A journal article with 3 authors
Zheng X, Zhang R, Huang H (2014) Theoretical modeling of relative humidity on contact electrification of sand particles. Sci Rep 4:4399
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Chen Y, Dodd SJ, Tangrea MA, et al (2013) Measuring collective cell movement and extracellular matrix interactions using magnetic resonance imaging. Sci Rep 3:1879

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Parker D (2011) Global Real Estate Investment Trusts. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK
An edited book
Azar AT, Vaidyanathan S (eds) (2015) Chaos Modeling and Control Systems Design. Springer International Publishing, Cham
A chapter in an edited book
DeHaan D, Guay M, Adetola V (2009) Adaptive Robust MPC: A Minimally-Conservative Approach. In: Magni L, Raimondo DM, Allgöwer F (eds) Nonlinear Model Predictive Control: Towards New Challenging Applications. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 55–67

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 Theoretical Ecology.

Blog post
Fang J (2015) Polar Bear Shatters Previous Dive Record While Stalking Seals. 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 (1998) District of Columbia: Extent to Which Schools Receive Available Federal Education Grants. 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
Roache RS (2015) Missouri Public School Teachers’ Perception of Tenure. Doctoral dissertation, Lindenwood 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
Walt SM (2017) The Power Of a Strong State Dept. New York Times A29

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Schlotterer 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Nicholson and Thornberry 2003; Schlotterer 2003).

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

  • Two authors: (Nicholson and Thornberry 2003)
  • Three or more authors: (Chen et al. 2013)

About the journal

Full journal titleTheoretical Ecology
AbbreviationTheor. Ecol.
ISSN (print)1874-1738
ISSN (online)1874-1746
ScopeEcological Modelling

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