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
Aldiss B (2000) Cognitive ability and the light bulb. Nature 403:253
A journal article with 2 authors
Breidenbach MA, Brunger AT (2004) Substrate recognition strategy for botulinum neurotoxin serotype A. Nature 432:925–929
A journal article with 3 authors
Cremer S, Sledge MF, Heinze J (2002) Chemical mimicry: male ants disguised by the queen’s bouquet. Nature 419:897
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Yu J, Hu K, Smuga-Otto K, et al (2009) Human induced pluripotent stem cells free of vector and transgene sequences. Science 324:797–801

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Neward T, Erickson AC, Crowell T, Minerich R (2010) Professional F# 2.0. Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, IN, USA
An edited book
Fletcher-Janzen E (ed) (2009) The Neuropsychology of Women. Springer, New York, NY
A chapter in an edited book
Blom AB, van den Berg WB (2007) The Synovium and Its Role in Osteoarthritis. In: Bronner F, Farach-Carson MC (eds) Bone and Osteoarthritis. Springer, London, pp 65–79

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 (2016) Young Lemurs Sing Out Of Sync With Their Parents To Get Noticed. 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 (2008) Traffic Safety: NHTSA’s Improved Oversight Could Identify Opportunities to Strengthen Management and Safety in Some States. 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
Mullican CD (2012) Multiple Intelligences in the Text: Examining the Presence of Multiple Intelligences Tasks in the Annotated Teacher’s Editions of Four High School United States History Textbooks. Doctoral dissertation, University of South Florida

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
Dominus S (2017) When the Revolution Came for Amy Cuddy. New York Times MM29

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Aldiss 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Aldiss 2000; Breidenbach and Brunger 2004).

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

  • Two authors: (Breidenbach and Brunger 2004)
  • Three or more authors: (Yu et al. 2009)

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