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
Stokstad, E. (2000). PALEONTOLOGY: CT Sleuthing Uncovers Fossil Misfits. Science (New York, N.Y.), 288(5472), 1731.
A journal article with 2 authors
Thodey, K., & Smolke, C. D. (2011). Cell biology. Bringing it together with RNA. Science (New York, N.Y.), 333(6041), 412–413.
A journal article with 3 authors
Pornillos, O., Ganser-Pornillos, B. K., & Yeager, M. (2011). Atomic-level modelling of the HIV capsid. Nature, 469(7330), 424–427.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Jefferis, G. S., Marin, E. C., Stocker, R. F., & Luo, L. (2001). Target neuron prespecification in the olfactory map of Drosophila. Nature, 414(6860), 204–208.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Quinquis, A. (2008). Digital Signal Processing using MATLAB®. London, UK: ISTE.
An edited book
Vaidyanathan, S., Harrigan, G. G., & Goodacre, R. (Eds.). (2005). Metabolome Analyses: Strategies for Systems Biology. Boston, MA: Springer US.
A chapter in an edited book
Chen, G. L., Chang, C. C., Chien, S. C., Tung, T. S., Lee, H. H., Ling, W. C., & Lee, H. L. (2007). Plasma-Ion Enhanced Optical Multilayer Thin-Film Coating for Consumer Electronics Products. In S. Hinduja & K.-C. Fan (Eds.), Proceedings of the 35th International MATADOR Conference: Formerly The International Machine Tool Design and Research Conference (pp. 17–20). 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 Resources Research.

Blog post
Hale, T. (2017, January 18). Why Do So Many People Sneeze When They Look At The Sun? 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). Natural Gas Regulation: Pipeline Transportation Under FERC Order 436 (No. RCED-87-133BR). 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
Rhoads, E. P. (2006). Knowledge management practices in U.S. federal agencies: The catalyst for E-Government transformation (Doctoral dissertation). George Washington University, Washington, DC.

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
Vecsey, G. (2010, December 16). The Place Is Rocking, and So Are the Knicks. New York Times, p. B17.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Stokstad, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Stokstad, 2000; Thodey & Smolke, 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Thodey & Smolke, 2011)
  • Three or more authors: (Jefferis 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

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