New Journal References Format

VII. Proper citation format As you write, you will need to use scientific literature to support your statements, because you need to credit those who provided the background information you used, to justify what you say based on prior knowledge, and to offer your readers the chance to read the background material themselves. The reviewers expect you to cite appropriate sources, and to record them in the proper format for the Journal of Introductory Biology Investigations (JIBI). Like professional journals do to maintain a consistent look for all their articles, JIBI requires its authors to provide their citations in a standardized citation style. JIBI uses the one from the journal Ecology, the details of which appear below.


A. In-Text Referencing

Throughout your paper, you will need to include a shorthand reference to the works you cite. These kinds of references are called in-text citations. In the following descriptions and examples, “Year” refers to the year in which the work was published (or publication was printed). Here is JIBI’s format:


Use last names of author(s) “Author (year) found that students are quite successful when they learn to cite properly.”


“Students are quite successful when they learn to cite properly (Author year)”

For the different numbers of authors that might be cited at once, you may include a reference …

   • …at the end of a clause or sentence, as follows: o for a single author, use (Author Year) ƒ Example: (Smith 1989)

      o for two authors, use (Author and Author Year) ƒ Example: (Smith and Jones 1990)

      o for three or more authors, use (First Author et al. Year) ƒ Example: (Smith et al. 1991) ƒ You must italicize et al., which is short for the Latin et alia, meaning “and others.”

      o to use multiple references to support a single claim, place them within parentheses separated by commas. ƒ Example (Smith 1989, Smith et al. 1991) ƒ the references should be place in chronological order (earliest to most recent)

   • … as a noun in a sentence, as follows:

      o For a single author, use Author (Year). ƒ Example: Smith (1989) found that…

      o For two authors, use Author and Author (Year) Example: Smith and Jones (1990) reasoned that…

      o For three or more authors, use Author et al. (Year) ƒ Example: Smith et al. (1991) showed how…

In all cases, if you are citing more than one article from the same first author(s) written in the same year, you add a letter to the date. For example, if John Smith wrote five articles some alone and some with others and they you cited them at three different points in your manuscript, it might look like: “(Smith 1999a)…. (Smith 1999b)…. (Smith et al. 1999, Smith et al. 2001a, Smith et al. 2001b)”

B. Literature Cited

At the end of your paper, you will need to provide more detailed information about your sources in a section titled “Literature Cited.” This list should be in alphabetical order by the first authors’ last name(s). When you have multiple sources from one author, use the second author’s last name(s), then year to organize your references further. Use the following formats (using the same punctuation) for each source type:

LastName, FirstInitial. MiddleInitial. Year. Title of the article with only the first word capitalized. Unabbreviated Journal Title. Volume: firstpage-lastpage.

   [Note: Second and following Authors are listed with initials preceding last name.

   A “.” follows the last authors name, the year, the journal title, and the last page number.

   A “:” separates the Volume number and the first page number]

1. Journal article

  • Example 1: Boutin, C. and J.L. Harper. 1991. A comparative study of the population of five species of Veronica in natural habitats. Journal of Ecology. 79: 199-221.
  • Example 2: Kremen, C., J.O. Niles, M.G. Dalton, G.C. Daily, P.R. Ehrlich, J.P. Fay, D. Grewal, and R.P. Guillery. 2000. Economic incentives for rain forest conservation across scales. Science. 288: 1828-1832.

2. Book

   • Pimm, S.L. 1982. Food Webs. Chapman and Hall, London.

3. Book Chapter

   • Boege, K., K.E. Barton, and R. Dirzo. 2011. Influence of tree ontogeny on plantherbivore interactions. Pages 193-214 in F.C. Meinzer, B. Lachenbruch and T.E. Dawson, editors. Size- and Age-Related Changes in Tree Structure and Function. Springer, Dordrecht.

4. Web Page

  •  Example 1: Millis, W. 2014. 2014 Annual Water Quality Report Public Water Supply ID OK1021220, [Online], Available: Guide To Success Update to Guide To Success section VII. Proper Citation on pp G37-G39 15 August 2015 2015 Edition    Guide to Success I G39 
  • Example 2: .pdf Accessed [1 Jun 2015].

5. Conference Proceeding

   • Oswalt, C. M. 2012. Spatial and temporal trends of the shortleaf pine resource in the eastern United States. Pages 33-36 in J. Kush, R. J. Barlow and J. C. Gilbert, editors. Shortleaf Pine Conference: East Meets West. Huntsville, Alabama.

You may also use the citation manager built into Word. Make sure to select Ecology as your citation style. Be aware that the Word citation manager does not allow you to use in-text citations as nouns or combine multiple citations into one set of parentheses, so you will need to manually write citations for those kinds of cases. See section R2.III. Using Word 2010 for directions on how to do this. You can read more about the Ecology guidelines for citations and references at If you are unsure of a format, find a similar reference in an article published in Ecology.

Chapter 5 in Pechenik (2016) provides some excellent guidance on finding and properly citing sources, but remain aware, he describes a slightly different citation style.