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
Noble D (2002) Modeling the heart--from genes to cells to the whole organ. Science 295:1678–1682
A journal article with 2 authors
Field J, Fullagar R (2001) Archaeology and Australian megafauna. Science 294:7
A journal article with 3 authors
Lee LH, Yang H, Bigras G (2014) Current breast cancer proliferative markers correlate variably based on decoupled duration of cell cycle phases. Sci Rep 4:5122
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Streit A, Berliner AJ, Papanayotou C, et al (2000) Initiation of neural induction by FGF signalling before gastrulation. Nature 406:74–78

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Harrington PJ (2010) Pharmaceutical Process Chemistry for Synthesis. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Kumar R (2016) Protein Toxins in Modeling Biochemistry. Springer International Publishing, Cham
A chapter in an edited book
Palmer MH (2013) (In)Digitizing Cáuigú Historical Geographies: Technoscience as a Postcolonial Discourse. In: Lünen A von, Travis C (eds) History and GIS: Epistemologies, Considerations and Reflections. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp 39–58

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
Andrew E (2015) An extra second on the clock: why moving from astronomic to atomic time is a tricky business. 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 (1983) The President’s Second Special Message for FY 1983. 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
Kweider NM (2014) Reading comprehension among Arabic Heritage Language Learners and the Simple View of Reading model. 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
La Gorce T (2012) Fire Up the Pit: My Brisket Can Burn Yours. New York Times NJ8

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Noble 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Field and Fullagar 2001; Noble 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Field and Fullagar 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Streit et al. 2000)

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