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BIO153H5: Diversity of Organisms


Citing in Ecology

You will follow the citation format used by the journal Ecology.

See papers published in that journal [such as Dang et al. (2009)] for an example of how the citation format looks, both within the text and in the Literature Cited section. Below are additional selected examples:

In-text Citations:

  1. Citations and sentence structure:
    “Travers (1999) found that fire can affect the pollen tube growth rate of annuals.”
    “Fire can affect the pollen tube growth rate of annuals (Travers 1999).”
  2. Number of authors:
    Papers with one author: Spell out surname and provide year (Jones 2004)
    Papers with two authors: Spell out both authors’ surnames and provide year (Jones and Smith 2004)
    Papers with three or more authors: Spell out surname of first author only and use “et al.” to indicate the list of other authors (Jones et al. 2003)


Journal article with One author :

FORMAT: Last name, First initial. Second initial. Date. Title. Journal title volume number: inclusive page numbers.

EXAMPLESmith, V. H. 1986. Light and nutrient effects on the relative biomass of blue-green algae in lake phytoplankton. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 43:148–153.


Journal article with two or more authors:

FORMAT: Last name and initial(s) of author, followed by Initials and then Last name of additional authors. Year of publication. Title of article. Title of journal Volume number: Inclusive page numbers.

EXAMPLE: Elser, J. J., and J. Urabe. 1999. The stoichiometry of consumerdriven nutrient recycling: theory, observations, and consequences. Ecology 80:735–751.



FORMAT: Last name and Initial(s) of author, [followed by Initials and Last name of additional authors if any]. Year of publication. Title of book. Edition number if any. Name of publisher, City, State, Country of publisher.

EXAMPLE: Sterner, R. W., and J. J. Elser. 2002. Ecological stoichiometry: the biology of elements from molecules to the biosphere. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, USA.

Note on Ecology Style

  • Always list the author names in the order in which they appear on the paper. Researchers carefully determine the order of authorship on a paper, and you need to preserve it to ensure that the article is recognizable, findable, and fairly credited.
  • Note that all author names are listed as first initials and last names. Even if you know the whole first name, the Ecology format dictates that using initials only in the Literature Cited list. Note also that the first name is given last name first, then intitials and any additional authors are listed intitials first, then last name.
    • Note that there are spaces between the initials.
  • Note that the journal name is written out completely. In older issues of Ecology, citations included bold font for volume number of journal articles. In recent issues, the volume number has not been bolded. Note that issue numbers for journal articles are not listed.
  • Always italicize species names.