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
Weaire D (2013) Applied physics. A fresh start for foam physics. Science 340:693–694
A journal article with 2 authors
Lee LP, Szema R (2005) Inspirations from biological optics for advanced photonic systems. Science 310:1148–1150
A journal article with 3 authors
Nabel GJ, Wei C-J, Ledgerwood JE (2011) Vaccinate for the next H2N2 pandemic now. Nature 471:157–158
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Hillaire-Marcel C, de Vernal A, Bilodeau G, Weaver AJ (2001) Absence of deep-water formation in the Labrador Sea during the last interglacial period. Nature 410:1073–1077

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bersuker IB (2010) Electronic Structure and Properties of Transition Metal Compounds. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Assens C (2016) Networks Governance, Partnership Management and Coalitions Federation. Palgrave Macmillan UK, London
A chapter in an edited book
Gil-Perotín S, García-Verdugo JM, Álvarez-Buylla A (2009) Adult Neurogenesis Under Pathological Stimulation: Ischemia. In: Alvarez-Buylla A, Gil-Perotín S (eds) Identification and Characterization of Neural Progenitor Cells in the Adult Mammalian Brain. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 67–75

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 (2014) Origins Of Mysterious World Trade Center Ship Determined. 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 (1974) FDA’s Activities Involving Sanitation Conditions at Food Storage Warehouses. 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
Powell TJ (2012) Saxophone sonatas: 1980–2010. 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
Barron J (2017) In East Hampton, an Airport Is Viewed as a Roaring, Round-the-Clock Nuisance. New York Times A16

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Weaire 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Lee and Szema 2005; Weaire 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Lee and Szema 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (Hillaire-Marcel et al. 2001)

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

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