How to format your references using the Water Resources Research citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Water Resources Research. 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
Parham, P. (2003). Innate immunity: The unsung heroes. Nature, 423(6935), 20.
A journal article with 2 authors
Wahl, E. R., & Morrill, C. (2010). Climate change. Toward understanding and predicting monsoon patterns. Science (New York, N.Y.), 328(5977), 437–438.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kreiman, G., Koch, C., & Fried, I. (2000). Imagery neurons in the human brain. Nature, 408(6810), 357–361.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Shannon, M. A., Bohn, P. W., Elimelech, M., Georgiadis, J. G., Mariñas, B. J., & Mayes, A. M. (2008). Science and technology for water purification in the coming decades. Nature, 452(7185), 301–310.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Dubil, R. (2011). Financial Engineering and Arbitrage in the Financial Markets. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Lindler, L. E., Lebeda, F. J., & Korch, G. W. (Eds.). (2005). Biological Weapons Defense: Infectious Diseases and Counterbioterrorism. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press.
A chapter in an edited book
Lands, W. E. (2008). Tissue Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease. In F. D. Meester & R. R. Watson (Eds.), Wild-Type Food in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention: The Columbus Concept (pp. 51–53). Totowa, NJ: Humana Press.

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 Resources Research.

Blog post
Carpineti, A. (2017, March 14). An Underground Instrument Will Measure How Much Earth Drags Spacetime. Retrieved October 30, 2018, from


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. (1986). What Every Auditor Should Know About Computer Information Systems (No. 130454). 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
Vega Aguirre, J. C. (2008). Study of small business leadership as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Doctoral dissertation). University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ.

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
Hodgman, J. (2017, June 9). Bonus Advice From Judge John Hodgman. New York Times, p. MM24.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Parham, 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Parham, 2003; Wahl & Morrill, 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Wahl & Morrill, 2010)
  • Three or more authors: (Shannon et al., 2008)

About the journal

Full journal titleWater Resources Research
AbbreviationWater Resour. Res.
ISSN (print)0043-1397
ISSN (online)1944-7973
ScopeWater Science and Technology

Other styles