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FW 435: Wildlife in Agricultural Ecosystems

Using a Citation Style

Use the the Ecology journal citation style described below for your FW 435 assignments.

Using a consistent citation style helps other people find your references more easily and makes you look like a smart researcher.

Citing with the Ecology Journal Citation Style

The Ecology journal author guidelines outlines the rules for creating in-text citations and the Literature Cited section.

Many journals have their own style. To appropriately follow the style, you have to match their punctuation, capitalization, and order. It can feel tedious. But using the style of your discipline helps it make you look like you know what you're doing.

Unfortunately, many online citation generators (e.g., Citation Machine, EasyBib, or Zotero) make mistakes in the journal citation styles. Take the time to make sure your citations are correctly formatted.

Basic rules

First, to correctly format a citation in the Ecology journal style, you need to know the type of source.  But there are certain rules that apply to all Ecology journal citations in your reference list:

  • Reference lists are alphabetized by the first author's last names.
  • Format each entry in your reference list using a hanging indent.  This means that every line after the first line is indented 1/2 inch.
  • Most titles (article titles, chapter titles, web page titles, journal titles, and book titles) should be written in title case with the each word capitalized except for prepositions (e.g., in, for, by) articles (e.g., the, a) and conjunctions (e.g., and, but).  
    • EXAMPLES: Elk of North America: Ecology and Management

or Characterization of the North American Beaver, or Functional Ecology

  • Italicize or use quotes around book or journal titles.
    • EXAMPLES: Freshwater Biology, or Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater

In-Text Citation Examples:

The journal Ecology uses a parenthetical in-text citation containing author(s) last name(s) and publication year.

Overall formatting guidance - include the author (or authors') names followed by the year. Include a comma between the author(s) names and the year.

1 author

(Ripple, 2014)

If the author(s) is named in the sentence, only include the publication year in the parenthetical citation. Always include the period to end the sentence after the last parentheses if the year is at the end of the sentence.

Ripple found that many carnivores are at risk and heavily managed by humans (2014).

Reeves and Sedell (1992) noted that a major consequence of land management practices and development in the riparian zone, floodplain, and land margins had been the simplification and fragmentation of fish habitat.

2 authors

Include both authors' last names separated by an &

(Bankston & Meador, 2015).

3 or more authors

Use the first author's last name followed by et al. to indicate other authors.

(Foster et al., 2019).

Multiple sources in the same in-text citation

List in alphabetical order. Separate multiple sources from different authors with a semi-colon.

(Foster et al., 2019; Ripple, 2014).

Reference List Examples

Here are the pieces that are needed for all Ecology citations. Note that for journal articles, volume and page number are needed.*



Ecology journal reference example



Note that for books, the publisher and place are needed.

Ecology journal book reference example

*Many citation styles use both a volume and issue number. However, the Ecology journal style only asks for an issue number if the pages of each issue are numbered separately. This is rarely done - most journals start numbering the pages of the subsequent volume in a particular year right where they left off from the previous issue. For example, the first page number in volume 2 might be 131.

Example of a journal article from an online-only journal like PLoS:

Online only reference example

Note - instead of a range of page numbers just one electronic page number is given.

For more information

Using Citations in Your Writing

The modules on this page talked about how to format your citations at the end of your paper. But even more important is knowing how to use citations in your paper. Here is a tip and an example of how to do that:

Tip: It is best to summarize literature in your own words; however, if you do use any part of a sentence directly from an author, you must correctly cite the material within your paper.

Example: A major consequence of land management practices and development in the riparian zone, floodplain, and land margins had been the simplification and fragmentation of fish habitat (Reeves & Sedell, 1992).