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
Nelson WJ 2003. Adaptation of core mechanisms to generate cell polarity. Nature 422, 766–774.
A journal article with 2 authors
Bell GI and Polonsky KS 2001. Diabetes mellitus and genetically programmed defects in beta-cell function. Nature 414, 788–791.
A journal article with 3 authors
Schieber J, Krinsley D and Riciputi L 2000. Diagenetic origin of quartz silt in mudstones and implications for silica cycling. Nature 406, 981–985.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Ritz T, Thalau P, Phillips JB, Wiltschko R and Wiltschko W 2004. Resonance effects indicate a radical-pair mechanism for avian magnetic compass. Nature 429, 177–180.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Aronson DR 2006. Evidence-Based Technical Analysis. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
El Miedany Y (Ed) 2015. Musculoskeletal Ultrasonography in Rheumatic Diseases. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Au WWL and Hastings MC 2008. Acoustic Propagation. In Principles of Marine Bioacoustics (ed. M.C. Hastings), pp. 87–120. Springer US, New York, NY.

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
Andrew E 2016. Klinefelter’s Syndrome: Being Unable To Produce Testosterone Has Serious Implications For Men. 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 2016. Aviation Security: TSA Is Taking Steps to Improve Expedited Screening Effectiveness, but Improvements in Screener Oversight Are Needed. 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
Ellerbrock G 2017. Intergenerational Ontology & Leadership: Uniting the Multigenerational Workforce. Doctoral dissertation Thesis. Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA.

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
Vecsey G 2011. A Love Story Affirmed Life In Time of War. New York Times, SP6.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Nelson, 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Bell and Polonsky, 2001; Nelson, 2003).

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

  • Two authors: (Bell and Polonsky, 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Ritz et al., 2004)

About the journal

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

Other styles