How to format your references using the Vadose Zone Journal citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Vadose Zone Journal. 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
Hughes, V. 2012. Public health: Where there’s smoke. Nature 489(7417): S18-20.
A journal article with 2 authors
Gann, A., and J. Witkowski. 2010. The lost correspondence of Francis Crick. Nature 467(7315): 519–524.
A journal article with 3 authors
Keenan, S.W., A.S. Engel, and R.M. Elsey. 2013. The alligator gut microbiome and implications for archosaur symbioses. Sci. Rep. 3: 2877.
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Dodge-Kafka, K.L., J. Soughayer, G.C. Pare, J.J. Carlisle Michel, L.K. Langeberg, et al. 2005. The protein kinase A anchoring protein mAKAP coordinates two integrated cAMP effector pathways. Nature 437(7058): 574–578.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Dewulf, G., A. Blanken, and M. Bult-Spiering. 2012. Strategic Issues in Public-Private Partnerships. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Langer, M., A. Luger, and H. Woracek, editors. 2006. Operator Theory and Indefinite Inner Product Spaces: Presented on the occasion of the retirement of Heinz Langer in the Colloquium on Operator Theory, Vienna, March 2004. Birkhäuser, Basel.
A chapter in an edited book
Verbelen, C., G. Andre, X. Haulot, Y. Gilbert, D. Alsteens, et al. 2008. Towards a Nanoscale View of Microbial Surfaces Using the Atomic Force Microscope. In: Tomitori, M., Bhushan, B., and Fuchs, H., editors, Applied Scanning Probe Methods IX: Characterization. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. p. 111–126

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 Vadose Zone Journal.

Blog post
Taub, B. 2016. Scientists Have Found The Switch That Sends The Brain To Sleep. IFLScience. (accessed 30 October 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. 1989. Drug Testing: Management Problems and Legal Challenges Facing DOT’s Industry Programs. 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
Martin, R.L. 2017. Development of a Nutrition Program with Emphasis on Use of Social Media for Middle School Students.

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
Schwirtz, M. 2017. One Surprise Is Already Clear in the German Elections: No Russian Meddling. New York Times: A6.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Hughes, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Gann and Witkowski, 2010; Hughes, 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Gann and Witkowski, 2010)
  • Three or more authors: (Dodge-Kafka et al., 2005)

About the journal

Full journal titleVadose Zone Journal
AbbreviationVadose Zone J.
ISSN (online)1539-1663
ScopeSoil Science

Other styles