How to format your references using the acta ethologica citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for acta ethologica. For a complete guide how to prepare your manuscript refer to the journal's instructions to authors.

Using reference management software

Typically you don't format your citations and bibliography by hand. The easiest way is to use a reference manager:

PaperpileThe citation style is built in and you can choose it in Settings > Citation Style or Paperpile > Citation Style in Google Docs.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
Mendeley, Zotero, Papers, and othersThe style is either built in or you can download a CSL file that is supported by most references management programs.
BibTeXBibTeX syles are usually part of a LaTeX template. Check the instructions to authors if the publisher offers a LaTeX template for this journal.

Journal articles

Those examples are references to articles in scholarly journals and how they are supposed to appear in your bibliography.

Not all journals organize their published articles in volumes and issues, so these fields are optional. Some electronic journals do not provide a page range, but instead list an article identifier. In a case like this it's safe to use the article identifier instead of the page range.

A journal article with 1 author
Baker M (2007) Postdoc redefined. Nature 446:1114
A journal article with 2 authors
Smetacek V, Cloern JE (2008) Oceans. On phytoplankton trends. Science 319:1346–1348
A journal article with 3 authors
Dickie IA, Hurst JM, Bellingham PJ (2012) Comment on “Conspecific negative density dependence and forest diversity.” Science 338:469; author reply 469
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Smith JA, Seltzer GO, Farber DL, et al (2005) Early local last glacial maximum in the tropical Andes. Science 308:678–681

Books and book chapters

Here are examples of references for authored and edited books as well as book chapters.

An authored book
Alexandridis AK, Zapranis AD (2014) Wavelet Neural Networks. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Cai X, Yeh T-CJ (eds) (2008) Quantitative Information Fusion for Hydrological Sciences. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
A chapter in an edited book
Cook* DL, Yung M, Keromytis AD (2009) Elastic Block Ciphers in Practice: Constructions and Modes of Encryption. In: Siris V, Anagnostakis K, Ioannidis S, Trimintzios P (eds) Proceedings of the 3rd European Conference on Computer Network Defense. Springer US, Boston, MA, pp 69–91

Web sites

Sometimes references to web sites should appear directly in the text rather than in the bibliography. Refer to the Instructions to authors for acta ethologica.

Blog post
Davis J (2015) Sharks’ Ability To Hunt Could Be Altered Under Climate Change. In: IFLScience. Accessed 30 Oct 2018


This example shows the general structure used for government reports, technical reports, and scientific reports. If you can't locate the report number then it might be better to cite the report as a book. For reports it is usually not individual people that are credited as authors, but a governmental department or agency like "U. S. Food and Drug Administration" or "National Cancer Institute".

Government report
Government Accountability Office (2014) Railroad Retirement Board: Total and Permanent Disability Program at Risk of Improper Payments. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Page JA (2009) Contested urban space: Competing discourses of urban development and environmental conservation in Playa Vista, California. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach

News paper articles

Unlike scholarly journals, news papers do not usually have a volume and issue number. Instead, the full date and page number is required for a correct reference.

New York Times article
Loomis G (2012) Making Music With a Moral. New York Times 0

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Baker 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Baker 2007; Smetacek and Cloern 2008).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Smetacek and Cloern 2008)
  • Three or more authors: (Smith et al. 2005)

About the journal

Full journal titleacta ethologica
AbbreviationActa Ethol.
ISSN (print)0873-9749
ISSN (online)1437-9546
ScopeAnimal Science and Zoology
Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Other styles