How to format your references using the Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Curry S (2009) Journal club. A crystallographer takes a jaunt into immunology. Nature 457:133
A journal article with 2 authors
Brown E, Jaeger HM (2011) Materials science. Through thick and thin. Science 333:1230–1231
A journal article with 3 authors
Semenov V, Dyadechkin S, Punsly B (2004) Simulations of jets driven by black hole rotation. Science 305:978–980
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Marión RM, Strati K, Li H, et al (2009) A p53-mediated DNA damage response limits reprogramming to ensure iPS cell genomic integrity. Nature 460:1149–1153

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ghaye T (2008) Building the Reflective Healthcare Organisation. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford, UK
An edited book
Lal R, Lorenz K, Hüttl RF, et al (eds) (2012) Recarbonization of the Biosphere: Ecosystems and the Global Carbon Cycle. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht
A chapter in an edited book
Wu Q, Gu Y (2011) Performance Analysis and Optimization of Linear Workflows in Heterogeneous Network Environments. In: Preve NP (ed) Grid Computing: Towards a Global Interconnected Infrastructure. Springer, London, pp 89–120

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 Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

Blog post
Luntz S (2017) Most Of Our Galaxy’s Antimatter Comes From Supernovae. 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 (1993) Telecommunications: Charges for Itemized Cellular Telephone Bills. 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
Brookman D (2009) Establishing context for referents in online chatroom conversations. 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
Pilon M (2012) Behind a Gifted Horse, A Powerful Part-Owner. New York Times B12

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Curry 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Curry 2009; Brown and Jaeger 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Brown and Jaeger 2011)
  • Three or more authors: (Marión et al. 2009)

About the journal

Full journal titleBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
AbbreviationBehav. Ecol. Sociobiol.
ISSN (print)0340-5443
ISSN (online)1432-0762
ScopeAnimal Science and Zoology
Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Other styles