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
Colglazier, W. (2015). SUSTAINABILITY. Sustainable development agenda: 2030. Science (New York, N.Y.), 349(6252), 1048–1050.
A journal article with 2 authors
Petersen, C. P., & Reddien, P. W. (2008). Smed-betacatenin-1 is required for anteroposterior blastema polarity in planarian regeneration. Science (New York, N.Y.), 319(5861), 327–330.
A journal article with 3 authors
Nesvorný, D., Vokrouhlický, D., & Bottke, W. F. (2006). The breakup of a main-belt asteroid 450 thousand years ago. Science (New York, N.Y.), 312(5779), 1490.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Guest, J. R., Stievater, T. H., Chen, G., Tabak, E. A., Orr, B. G., Steel, D. G., et al. (2001). Near-field coherent spectroscopy and microscopy of a quantum dot system. Science (New York, N.Y.), 293(5538), 2224–2227.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Pijaudier-Cabot, G., La Borderie, C., Reess, T., Chen, W., Maurel, O., Rey-Berbeder, F., & de Ferron, A. (2016). Electrohydraulic Fracturing of Rocks. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Kerkhoffs, G. M. M. J., & Servien, E. (Eds.). (2014). Acute Muscle Injuries. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Mather, J. N. (2011). On the Homology of Haefliger’s Classifying Space. In V. Villani (Ed.), Differential Topology (pp. 71–116). 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
Luntz, S. (2014, May 14). Bizarre Gas Planet Takes 80,000 Years To Orbit Its Star. 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. (2003). Aviation Security: Efforts to Measure Effectiveness and Address Challenges (No. GAO-04-232T). 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
Wilensky, S. E. (2010). 340B prime vendor program: Health center decision making and barriers to participation (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
Greenhouse, L. (2005, December 13). SUPREME COURT TO HEAR DISPUTE ON REDISTRICTING. New York Times, p. A1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Colglazier, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Colglazier, 2015; Petersen & Reddien, 2008).

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

  • Two authors: (Petersen & Reddien, 2008)
  • Three or more authors: (Guest 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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