How to format your references using the Water Science citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Water Science. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Watzman, H., 2000. Israel debates raising commitment to CERN. European Laboratory for Particle Physics. Nature 405, 109.
A journal article with 2 authors
Bergstrom, C.T., Kerr, B., 2015. Microbiology: Taking the bad with the good. Nature 521, 431–432.
A journal article with 3 authors
Rodell, M., Velicogna, I., Famiglietti, J.S., 2009. Satellite-based estimates of groundwater depletion in India. Nature 460, 999–1002.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Rad, R., Rad, L., Wang, W., Cadinanos, J., Vassiliou, G., Rice, S., Campos, L.S., Yusa, K., Banerjee, R., Li, M.A., de la Rosa, J., Strong, A., Lu, D., Ellis, P., Conte, N., Yang, F.T., Liu, P., Bradley, A., 2010. PiggyBac transposon mutagenesis: a tool for cancer gene discovery in mice. Science 330, 1104–1107.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Stahl, S., 2011. Real Analysis. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Parisi, S., 2016. Chemistry and Food Safety in the EU: The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), SpringerBriefs in Molecular Science. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Shelton, E.J., 2013. Narrative Frameworks of Consideration: Horizontal and Vertical Approaches to Conceptualizing the Sub-Antarctic, in: Müller, D.K., Lundmark, L., Lemelin, R.H. (Eds.), New Issues in Polar Tourism: Communities, Environments, Politics. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp. 51–66.

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 Science.

Blog post
Andrew, E., 2014. Researchers Reveal Smallest, Fastest Nanomotor Yet [WWW Document]. IFLScience. URL (accessed 10.30.18).


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, 1994. National Laboratories: Are Their R&D Activities Related to Commercial Product Development? (No. PEMD-95-2). U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Madapatha, S.A., 2015. Energy efficient hierarchical wireless routing protocol (EEHW routing protocol) (Doctoral dissertation). California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

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
Egan, J., Saunders, G., 2015. Choose Your Own Adventure. New York Times MM74.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Watzman, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Bergstrom and Kerr, 2015; Watzman, 2000).

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

  • Two authors: (Bergstrom and Kerr, 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Rad et al., 2010)

About the journal

Full journal titleWater Science
ISSN (print)1110-4929

Other styles