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
Nosengo, N., 2003. Pollution fears put work at neutrino laboratory on hold. Nature 423, 675.
A journal article with 2 authors
Cho, M.K., Relman, D.A., 2010. Genetic technologies. Synthetic “life,” ethics, national security, and public discourse. Science 329, 38–39.
A journal article with 3 authors
Brandes, M., Willimann, K., Moser, B., 2005. Professional antigen-presentation function by human gammadelta T Cells. Science 309, 264–268.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Misewich, J.A., Martel, R., Avouris, P., Tsang, J.C., Heinze, S., Tersoff, J., 2003. Electrically induced optical emission from a carbon nanotube FET. Science 300, 783–786.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Center for Chemical Process Safety, 1998. Guidelines for Design Solutions for Process Equipment Failures. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Rogers, E., 2007. Control Systems Theory and Applications for Linear Repetitive Processes, Lecture Notes in Control and Information Sciences. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Saeki, K., Ronson, C.W., 2014. Genome Sequence and Gene Functions in Mesorhizobium loti and Relatives, in: Tabata, S., Stougaard, J. (Eds.), The Lotus Japonicus Genome, Compendium of Plant Genomes. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 41–57.

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
Fang, J., 2014. Crayfish Grow New Brain Cells From Blood Cells [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, 1981. Major Science and Technology Issues (No. PAD-81-35). 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
King, G.D., 2010. Public Works Directors’ Perceptions of the Effects of Stakeholders on Environmental Policies in California Cities (Doctoral dissertation). University of Phoenix, Phoenix, 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
Lee, L., 2013. In Miami, a House Comes to Visit. New York Times D3.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Nosengo, 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Cho and Relman, 2010; Nosengo, 2003).

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

  • Two authors: (Cho and Relman, 2010)
  • Three or more authors: (Misewich et al., 2003)

About the journal

Full journal titleWater Science
ISSN (print)1110-4929

Other styles