SSSA Citation Style Quick Guide
For more detailed information on SSSA citation style see The Publications Handbook and Style Manual.
Click on the category to find out how to cite specific resources
- Arrange the list alphabetically by the last name of authors.
- In the reference list itself, give the names of all authors. Optionally, if the paper has more than six authors, the rest may be abbreviated to 'et al.'
- Two or more articles by the same author (or authors) are listed chronologically.
- For multiple works by the same first author list them chronologically.
- Alphabetize entries with the same first author according to last names of succeeding coauthors and then by year, when the names are repeated exactly.
Shotwell, C.A., and G.W. Smith. 2001. Shotwell, O.L. 1998. Shotwell, O.L., M.L. Goulden, and C.W. Hesseltine. 1994. Shotwell, O.L., C.W. Hesseltine, and M.L. Goulden. 1993a. Shotwell, O.L., C.W. Hesseltine, and M.L. Goulden. 1997.
- For different articles by the same author or authors published within a single year, distinguish them by adding lowercase letters to the year. Repeat identical author names in full; that is, do not use a rule to indicate names repeated from the prior entry. Do not use 'ibid.' or 'op cit.'
Capitalize the first letter of the first word of title and subtitles of articles, bulletins, or books, as well as capitalizing proper names as usual. Capitalize each word in conference names and journal titles, abbreviated or not.
Doty, W.T., M. Amacher, and D.E. Baker. 1982. Manual of methods: Soil and environmental chemistry laboratory. Rep. 121. Dep. of Agronomy, Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park.
Journal titles are abbreviated according to an international standard, as given in Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index (CASSI, updated yearly). CASSI is available in most research libraries[Owen Science and Engineering Library]. See Appendix A for guidelines and examples. If you are unsure of the correct abbreviation, write out the title in full (or at least the part in question). The staff editors at headquarters can quickly and easily abbreviate titles, but can lose much time trying to verify the existence of incorrectly abbreviated journals and other publications. When in doubt, consult a reference librarian for the correct bibliographic citation of difficult material.
(for more on this see pg. 19 of the publications Handbook and style manual)
As with any reference, the idea is to make it possible for the reader to locate the exact source cited. Give all the usual information as for print publications-author, year, and title-but then provide also the entire URL address, and a date.
This date should be the date when the information had last been updated (e.g., from the date-posted line on a web page) or when the information was accessed (either by the author citing the work or the editor checking the reference). When in doubt, include more information rather than less.
Wear, D. 2000. Research projects, Southern Forest Resource Assessment Consortium [Online]. Available at http://www.rtp.srs.fs.fed.us/econ/research/sofac/projects.htm (modified 13 Mar. 2000; accessed 8 July 2000; verified 22 May 2001). USDA Forest Serv., Research Triangle Park, NC.
Online-only Journal Article
Kampf. S.K., M. Salazar, and S.W. Tyler. 2002. Preliminary investigations of effluent drainage from mining heap leach facilities [Online]. Available at http://www.vadozezonejournal.org. Vadose Zone J. 1:186-196.
- This date should be the date when the information had last been updated (e.g., from the date-posted line on a web page) or when the information was accessed (either by the author citing the work or the editor checking the reference). When in doubt, include more information rather than less.
- Some electronic sources are the equivalent of personal communications or unpublished data (e.g., email, an online interview or chat session, or information posted on an individual home page). Cite these in the text only; include the full URL address and the date.
- Last name, First initial. Year of publication. Title. Publisher, City, State of Publisher.
Dzombak, D.A., and F.M.M. Morel. 1990. Surface complexation modeling: Hydrous ferricoxide. John Wiley & Sons, New York.
Doty, W.T., M. Amacher, and D.E. Baker. 1982. Manual of methods: Soil and environmental chemistry laboratory. Rep. 121. Dep. of Agronomy, Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park. Food and Agricultural Organization. 1994. Production and trade yearbook, 1993. FAO, Rome.
Book with Corporate Author:
- Corporate Author. Year of publication. Title of book. Location of publisher. Publisher.
California Certified Organic Farmers. 1995. California Certified Organic Farmers certification handbook. CCOF, Santa Cruz.
- Chapter authors Last name, First initials. Year. Title of chapter. Page numbers. In Book editor (ed.). Title of book. Publisher. City and State of publisher.
Buresh, R.J., P.C. Smithson, and D.T. Hellums. 1997. Building soil phosphorus capital in Africa. p. 111-149. In R.J. Buresh et al. (ed.) Replenishing soil fertility in Africa. SSSA Spec. Publ. 51. SSSA, Madison, WI.
Book with an Editor
- Editor(s) Last name, First initial. Year of publication. Title. Edition. Publisher, City, State of Publisher.
- Article authors Last name, First initials. Year. Title of article. Page numbers. In Encyclopedia editor(s)(ed.). Title of encyclopedia. Volume. Publisher. City and State of publisher.
Salisbury, F.B. 1981. Response to photoperiod. p. 135-167. In O.L. Lange et al. (ed.) Physiological plant ecology: I. Responses to the physical environment. Encyclopedia of plant physiology. Vol. 12A. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
Thesis or Dissertation
- Last name, First initial. year. Title of thesis/dissertation. MS Thesis or PhD Diss. Name of University. Location.
Maraqa, M.A. 1995. Transport of dissolved volatile organic compounds in the unsaturated zone. Ph.D. Diss. Michigan State Univ., East Lansing.
Koenig, R. T. 1990. Decomposition, nitrogen mineralization, and plant utilization of mineralized residue N in a subarctic agricultural soil. MS Thesis. Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks.
Journal Article (Scholarly or trade)
If presented by volume:
- Last name, First initial., Year. Title of article. Name of journal. Volume (issue):Page numbers.
Argo, W.R., and J.A. Biernbaum. 1995. Root-medium nutrient levels and irrigation requirements of poinsettias grown in five root media. HortScience 30(2):535-538.
Bordoli, J.M., and A.P. Mallarino. 1998. Deep and shallow banding of phosphorous and potassium as alternatives to broadcast fertilization for no-till corn. Agron. J. 90:27-33.
If presented by date:
- Last name, First initial. Year article was published. Title of article. Name of trade journal. Day Month, Page numbers.
Davenport, C.H. 1981. Sowing the seeds. Barrons. 2 March, p. 10.
Magazine or Newspaper Article
- Last name, First initial. Year. Article title. Publication title. Date. Page.
Davenport, C.H. 1981. Sowing the seeds. Barrons. 2 March, p. 10.
Mulvaney, D.L., and L. Paul. 1984. Rotating crops and tillage. Crops Soils 36(7):18-19.
Lee, S. 2007. The Lettuce Nitrate phenomenon. New York Times 4 Nov. pp G4.
Online Only Publication [Website]
- Organization/group/university publishing it. Year. Title of the website. URL address (accessed date; verified date). Publisher, city, state.
USDA - National Agricultural Statistics Services Census of agriculture. 2000. Published estimates data base (PEDB) [Online]. Available at www.nass.usda.gov:81/ipedb/ (accessed 15 May 2001; verified 24 Aug. 2001). USDA-NASS, Washington, DC.
Wear, D. 2000. Research projects, Southern Forest Resource Assessment Consortium [Online]. Available at www.rtp.srs.fs.fed.us/ econ/research/sofac/projects.htm (modified 13 Mar. 2000; accessed 8 July 2000; verified 22 May 2001). USDA Forest Serv., Research Triangle Park, NC.
Online-only Journal Article
- Last name, First initial. Year. Article Title [Online]. Available at URL. Journal Title. Vol.(issue): Page numbers.
Kampf. S.K., M. Salazar, and S.W. Tyler. 2002. Preliminary investigations of effluent drainage from mining heap leach facilities [Online]. Available at www.vadozezonejournal. org. Vadose Zone J. 1:186-196.
Zhang, Q., L.C. Davis, and L.E. Erickson. 1998. Effect of vegetation on transport of groundwater and nonaqueous-phase liquid contaminants [Online]. Available at www.engg.ksu.edu/HSRC/JHSR/. J. Hazard. Subst. Res. 1:Article 8.
Personal Communication (Email)
- Last name, first initial. Personal communication. Year, day month.
Note: technically personal communications are to be cited in text only. If you decide to include a citation in your reference list follow the example below.
Koenig, T. Personal communication. 2007, 22 October.
The author-year notation system is required; do not use numbered notation.
For within-text citations of papers with two authors, name both.
(Murphy and Smith, 2001)
With three or more authors, use 'et al.'
(Murphy et al., 2001)
For two or more articles using the same within-text citation, add a distinguishing lowercase letter to the year in both the text and references list. Separate citations with a semicolon.
(Murphy and Wong, 2001, 2001b; Murphy et al., 2001)
*For citations of multiple works by the same authors, the author names do not need to be repeated.
Information excerpted from The Publications Handbook and Style Manual available at https://www.soils.org/publications/style/ (accessed 7 Nov. 2007).