How to format your references using the Water Security citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Water Security. 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
D. Featherstone, Journal club. A neuroscientist argues for a broader approach to brain mapping, Nature. 458 (2009) 949.
A journal article with 2 authors
M.-X. Luo, X. Wang, Parallel photonic quantum computation assisted by quantum dots in one-side optical microcavities, Sci. Rep. 4 (2014) 5732.
A journal article with 3 authors
E. Velarde, E. Ezcurra, D.W. Anderson, Seabird diets provide early warning of sardine fishery declines in the Gulf of California, Sci. Rep. 3 (2013) 1332.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
R. Fujiwara, S. Takenaka, M. Hashimoto, T. Narawa, T. Itoh, Expression of human solute carrier family transporters in skin: possible contributor to drug-induced skin disorders, Sci. Rep. 4 (2014) 5251.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
M.A. El-Reedy, Project Management in the Oil and Gas Industry, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2016.
An edited book
E. Okuno, Biomechanics of the Human Body, Springer, New York, NY, 2014.
A chapter in an edited book
Y. Yin, I. Kaku, J. Tang, J. Zhu, Genetic Algorithm-based Fuzzy Nonlinear Programming, in: I. Kaku, J. Tang, J. Zhu (Eds.), Data Mining: Concepts, Methods and Applications in Management and Engineering Design, Springer, London, 2011: pp. 55–86.

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 Security.

Blog post
T. Hale, New Ant Species Discovered In Poisonous Frog’s Puke, IFLScience. (2016). (accessed October 30, 2018).


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, Telecommunications: Additional Federal Efforts Could Help Advance Digital Television Transition, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2002.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
C. Woo, Cross-Cultural Encounter and the Novel: Nation, Identity, and Genre in Nineteenth-Century British Literature, Doctoral dissertation, Ohio State University, 2008.

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
M.D. Shear, Y. Alcindor, Democrats on Tightrope In Immigration Debate, New York Times. (2017) A13.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [1].
This sentence cites two references [1,2].
This sentence cites four references [1–4].

About the journal

Full journal titleWater Security
ISSN (print)2468-3124

Other styles