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
Cavanagh, P. (2005). The artist as neuroscientist. Nature, 434(7031), 301–307.
A journal article with 2 authors
Wray, C. M., & Bishop, S. R. (2014). Cascades on a stochastic pulse-coupled network. Scientific Reports, 4, 6355.
A journal article with 3 authors
Tuch, B. B., Li, H., & Johnson, A. D. (2008). Evolution of eukaryotic transcription circuits. Science (New York, N.Y.), 319(5871), 1797–1799.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Randau, L., Stanley, B. J., Kohlway, A., Mechta, S., Xiong, Y., & Söll, D. (2009). A cytidine deaminase edits C to U in transfer RNAs in Archaea. Science (New York, N.Y.), 324(5927), 657–659.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Mubarak, S. (2010). Construction Project Scheduling and Control. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Vries, M. F. R. K. de, Korotov, K., Florent-Treacy, E., & Rook, C. (Eds.). (2016). Coach and Couch: The Psychology of Making Better Leaders (2nd edition). London: Palgrave Macmillan UK.
A chapter in an edited book
Borruto, F., & Comparetto, C. (2012). The Basic Elements of a Correct Diagnosis: From Cytohistopathology to Screening. In F. Borruto & M. De Ridder (Eds.), HPV and Cervical Cancer: Achievements in Prevention and Future Prospects (pp. 85–111). New York, NY: 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
Andrew, D. (2016, June 20). Solved Mystery Of The Deep-Sea Mushroom Just Raises New Questions. 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. (1982). Strong Central Management of Office Automation Will Boost Productivity (No. AFMD-82-54). 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
Lee, K. S. (2008). Towards an improved baton technique: The application and modification of conducting gestures drawn from the methods of Rudolf, Green and Saitö for enhanced performance of orchestral interpretations (Doctoral dissertation). University of Arizona, Tucson, 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
Kanter, J. (2017, June 22). May Offers a Plan for Europeans to Stay in Britain After Brexit. New York Times, p. A9.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Cavanagh, 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Cavanagh, 2005; Wray & Bishop, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Wray & Bishop, 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Randau et al., 2009)

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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