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
Yuan J (2014) Applied physics: Bright electron twisters. Nature 509:37–38
A journal article with 2 authors
Takeuchi T, Morris RGM (2014) Neuroscience: Shedding light on a change of mind. Nature 513:323–324
A journal article with 3 authors
Vandermeer J, Perfecto I, Philpott SM (2008) Clusters of ant colonies and robust criticality in a tropical agroecosystem. Nature 451:457–459
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Steinmetz PN, Roy A, Fitzgerald PJ, et al (2000) Attention modulates synchronized neuronal firing in primate somatosensory cortex. Nature 404:187–190

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Peat J, Elliott E, Baur L, Keena V (2002) Scientific Writing Easy when you know how. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., London, WC
An edited book
Madenci E (2014) Peridynamic Theory and Its Applications. Springer, New York, NY
A chapter in an edited book
Arking R (2009) The Genetic Architecture of Longevity. In: Sell C, Lorenzini A, Brown-Borg HM (eds) Life-Span Extension: Single-Cell Organisms to Man. Humana Press, Totowa, NJ, pp 59–73

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) Scientists Create Biodegradable Computer Chips. 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 (1973) Federal Catalog Program: Progress and Problems in Attaining a Uniform Identification System for Supplies. 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
Lu W-Y (2012) The performance practice of Buddhist baiqi in contemporary Taiwan. Doctoral dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park

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
Brunnermeier M, James H, Landau J-P (2016) Pondering Franco-German relations anew. New York Times A13

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Yuan 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Yuan 2014; Takeuchi and Morris 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Takeuchi and Morris 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Steinmetz 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