How to format your references using the animal citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for animal. 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
Rhodes G 2014. The career I dreamed of? Science (New York, N.Y.) 345, 1414.
A journal article with 2 authors
McNiven MA and Thompson HM 2006. Vesicle formation at the plasma membrane and trans-Golgi network: the same but different. Science (New York, N.Y.) 313, 1591–1594.
A journal article with 3 authors
Nowak MA, Tarnita CE and Wilson EO 2010. The evolution of eusociality. Nature 466, 1057–1062.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Shi Y, Wang Y, Wong JI, Tan AYS, Hsu C-L, Li L-J, Lu Y-C and Yang HY 2013. Self-assembly of hierarchical MoSx/CNT nanocomposites (2<x<3): towards high performance anode materials for lithium ion batteries. Scientific reports 3, 2169.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Wildi O 2010. Data Analysis in Vegetation Ecology. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Green T 2012. Foundation Adobe Edge Animate: For HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. Apress, Berkeley, CA.
A chapter in an edited book
Borbély D 2005. EU Export Specialization Patterns in Selected Accession Countries. In Structural Change and Exchange Rate Dynamics: The Economics of EU Eastern Enlargement (eds. P.J.J. Welfens and A. Wziątek-Kubiak), pp. 37–72. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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 animal.

Blog post
O`Callaghan J 2017. Astronomers Have Found The Most Massive Brown Dwarf Ever. IFLScience. Retrieved on 30 October 2018, from


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 2002. Public Schools: Insufficient Research to Determine Effectiveness of Selected Private Education Companies. 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
Wright JL 2015. Shade Tolerance and Physiological Response to Light Regime of the Invasive Species Lonicera maackii (Amur honeysuckle). Doctoral dissertation Thesis. Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL.

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
Crow K 2003. Staying Focused On Diversity Goals In Harder Times. New York Times, G2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Rhodes, 2014).
This sentence cites two references (McNiven and Thompson, 2006; Rhodes, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (McNiven and Thompson, 2006)
  • Three or more authors: (Shi et al., 2013)

About the journal

Full journal titleanimal
ISSN (print)1751-7311
ISSN (online)1751-732X
ScopeAnimal Science and Zoology

Other styles