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
Haigh, J.D. 2001. Climate variability and the influence of the Sun. Science 294(5549): 2109–2111.
A journal article with 2 authors
Baker, P.J., and J.S. Wilson. 2003. Plant ecology: Coexistence of tropical tree species. Nature 422(6932): 581–2; discussion 852.
A journal article with 3 authors
McDermott, F., D.P. Mattey, and C. Hawkesworth. 2001. Centennial-scale Holocene climate variability revealed by a high-resolution speleothem delta 18O record from SW Ireland. Science 294(5545): 1328–1331.
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Xiao-Hong, Z., L. Lan-Hua, X. Wei-Qi, S. Bao-Dong, S. Jian-Wu, et al. 2014. A reusable evanescent wave immunosensor for highly sensitive detection of bisphenol A in water samples. Sci. Rep. 4: 4572.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hurst, K. 2008. Primary Care Trust Workforce Planning and Development. Whurr Publishers Ltd, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
An edited book
Mordini, A., and F. Faigl, editors. 2008. New Methodologies and Techniques for a Sustainable Organic Chemistry. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht.
A chapter in an edited book
Shin, H., and I. Riaz. 2014. Detection of Vehicles and Pedestrians. In: Kim, J. and Shin, H., editors, Algorithm & SoC Design for Automotive Vision Systems: For Smart Safe Driving System. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht. p. 107–142

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
Hale, T. 2016. Can You Spot What’s Hiding In This Photograph? 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. 2013. VA Education Benefits: Student Characteristics and Outcomes Vary across Schools. 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
Sprague, T. 2012. Cultural perspectives among children of Guatemalan Maya immigrants in Lake Worth, Florida.

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
Walsh, M.W. 2012. Next Chicago School Crisis: Pension Fund. New York Times: A1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Haigh, 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Haigh, 2001; Baker and Wilson, 2003).

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

  • Two authors: (Baker and Wilson, 2003)
  • Three or more authors: (Xiao-Hong et al., 2014)

About the journal

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

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