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Biol 322: Terrestrial Ecosystems

ecology, biogeography, arctic, grasslands & deserts, tundra, biomes, deciduous forest, tropical rain forest, aerobic respiration, adaptation, food webs, sunlight, CO2 flux, temperature fluctuations, ecozones, nitrogen cycle, succession

Citing References in the Sciences

The CSE Style Guide (Council of Science Editors), also called the Scientific Style and Format guide, is one of the main style guides used when citing resources in a research paper for many of the natural sciences.  (It was formerly called the CBE style or manual.)

Citation Style

The citation examples provided in the box below are taken from Biol 322: Terrestrial Ecosystems handout: The Research Proposal.

It is based on the style format used by the journal: Agricultural and Forest Meteorology.  For questions regarding the formatting of resources not included in this handout, please contact your instructor: Sam Nyanumba.


This section presents a list of the relevant research articles that have been used in section 2.

References styles vary between granting agencies, journals or even courses at Vancouver Island University. For this course, you will use the following format:

  1. For citation of direct quotes, facts, or ideas, you always need to include a reference. It is both very bad form and considered plagiarism to not provide references. In contrast, providing the references is considered excellent form and a sign of being well educated.

  1. The references should be presented in the text using the following format:
    1. For a single author reference, you present the last name of the author, followed by the year (e.g., Darveau, 2007)

  1. When two (2) authors appear on a reference, you present the last name of the two authors, followed by the year (e.g., Darveau and Black, 2007)

  1. When three (3) or more authors appear on a reference, you present the last name of the first author, followed by et al., and then by the year (e.g., Darveau et al., 2007). The “et al.” should be italicised as it is from Latin.

  1. You can start a sentence with the name of the author like “Darveau et al. (2007) showed that…” or you can present the reference in brackets at the end of the sentence once you have made your statement like “It was shown that… (Darveau et al., 2007).

  1. The reference section at the end of the research proposal will contain the cited material organized in alphabetical order using the last name of the first author.

  1. Article references should include: authors, year or publication, title, journal, volume and page numbers of the article. You will use the reference format of the journal Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. You can use full names or standard abbreviations for journals.

For example:

Griffis, T.J., Black, T.A., Morgenstern, K., Barr, A.G., Nesic, Z., Drewitt, G.B., Gaumont-Guay, D., McCaughey, J.H., 2003. Ecophysiological controls on the carbon balances of three southern boreal forests. Agric For. Meteorol. 117, 53-71.

  1. For citations from the Web, include authors, date published or if unknown, date accessed, title and URL. In general, I expect that there will be few references from the Web and that almost all the references will be from peer-reviewed articles. In research proposals, you want to use the most authoritative sources, which will be from peer-reviewed articles.

For example:

Pachauri, R.K., Jallow, B., 2007. Briefings on the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report"Climate Change 2007",

  1. For citations from books, include authors, year of publication, title of the chapter, editors, book title, name and location of publishers and the page numbers in the book.

For example:

Black, T.A., Gaumont-Guay, D., Jassal, R.S., Amiro, B.D., Jarvis, P.G., Gower, S.T.,

      Kelliher, F.M., Dunn, A., Wofsy, S.C., 2005. Measurement of CO2 exchange

      between boreal forest and the atmosphere. In: Griffiths, H., Jarvis, P.G. (Eds), The

     carbon balance of forest biomes. Taylor and Francis group, Oxon, UK, pp. 151-178.

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