How to format your references using the Water Alternatives citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Water Alternatives. 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
Sullivan, P.F. 2015. Genetics of disease: Associations with depression. Nature 523(7562): 539–540.
A journal article with 2 authors
Meldrum, D.R. and Holl, M.R. 2002. Tech.Sight. Microfluidics. Microscale bioanalytical systems. Science (New York, N.Y.) 297(5584): 1197–1198.
A journal article with 3 authors
Sánchez-Villagra, M.R.; Aguilera, O. and Horovitz, I. 2003. The anatomy of the world’s largest extinct rodent. Science (New York, N.Y.) 301(5640): 1708–1710.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Sun, J.; Ni, X.; Bi, S.; Wu, W.; Ye, J.; Meng, J. and Windley, B.F. 2014. Synchronous turnover of flora, fauna, and climate at the Eocene-Oligocene Boundary in Asia. Scientific reports 4: 7463.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hitz, C.B.; Ewing, J. and Hecht, J. 2012. Introduction to Laser Technology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc..
An edited book
Fairbanks, C.A. and J, M.P.D.T. (Eds). 2014. Neurobiological Studies of Addiction in Chronic Pain States. Contemporary Clinical Neuroscience 17. New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Sundararajan, V. and Wright, P. 2007. CyberCut: A Coordinated Pipeline of Design, Process Planning and Manufacture. In Wang, L. and Shen, W. (Eds), Process Planning and Scheduling for Distributed Manufacturing , Springer Series in Advanced Manufacturing, pp. 91–108. London: 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 Water Alternatives.

Blog post
O`Callaghan, J. 2015. Stephen Hawking Warns Us About Artificial Intelligence. 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. 1994. Radio Marti: Program Review Processes Need Strengthening. NSIAD-94-265. 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
Messian, N.M. 2012. The Spiral of Time: A Path to the Soul—Jewish Mystical and Depth Psychological Perspectives. Doctoral dissertation. Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, 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
Widdicombe, B. 2017. Charming for a Cause. New York Times. 4 January 2017.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Sullivan, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Meldrum and Holl, 2002; Sullivan, 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Meldrum and Holl, 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Sun et al., 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleWater Alternatives
ISSN (online)1965-0175

Other styles