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
Phillips, R. (2011). Jonathan Widom (1955-2011). Nature, 476(7361), 400.
A journal article with 2 authors
Parmesan, C., & Yohe, G. (2003). A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems. Nature, 421(6918), 37–42.
A journal article with 3 authors
Gaydos, L. J., Wang, W., & Strome, S. (2014). Gene repression. H3K27me and PRC2 transmit a memory of repression across generations and during development. Science (New York, N.Y.), 345(6203), 1515–1518.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Iyer, V. R., Horak, C. E., Scafe, C. S., Botstein, D., Snyder, M., & Brown, P. O. (2001). Genomic binding sites of the yeast cell-cycle transcription factors SBF and MBF. Nature, 409(6819), 533–538.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Tsui, J. B.-Y. (2004). Fundamentals of Global Positioning System Receivers. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Bogdandy, A. von. (2009). Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. (R. Wolfrum, Ed.) (Vol. 4). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Yan, J., & Zhang, W. (2007). Virtual Registers: Reducing Register Pressure Without Enlarging the Register File. In K. D. Bosschere, D. Kaeli, P. Stenström, D. Whalley, & T. Ungerer (Eds.), High Performance Embedded Architectures and Compilers: Second International Conference, HiPEAC 2007, Ghent, Belgium, January 28-30, 2007. Proceedings (pp. 57–70). Berlin, Heidelberg: 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 Resources Research.

Blog post
Davis, J. (2016, May 27). Neanderthal Babies Were Stocky, Just Like Their Parents. 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. (1987). The Need for Strong Central Oversight of the Federal Government’s War on Drugs (No. T-GGD-87-17). 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
Galvan, R. (2015). A mixed-methods study of mathematics and science achievement of refugee students in homogeneous and heterogeneous groups (Doctoral dissertation). Capella University, Minneapolis, MN.

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
Marx, L. (2017, June 2). A Love of Adventure Leads to Love Near Home. New York Times, p. ST11.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Phillips, 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Parmesan & Yohe, 2003; Phillips, 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Parmesan & Yohe, 2003)
  • Three or more authors: (Iyer et al., 2001)

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