How to format your references using the Behavioral Ecology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Behavioral Ecology. 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
Hapgood M. 2012. Astrophysics: Prepare for the coming space weather storm. Nature. 484(7394):311–313.
A journal article with 2 authors
Miklius A, Cervelli P. 2003. Vulcanology: Interaction between Kilauea and Mauna Loa. Nature. 421(6920):229.
A journal article with 3 authors
Gans J, Wolinsky M, Dunbar J. 2005. Computational improvements reveal great bacterial diversity and high metal toxicity in soil. Science. 309(5739):1387–1390.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Wolfe AM, Jorgenson RA, Robishaw T, Heiles C, Prochaska JX. 2008. An 84-microG magnetic field in a galaxy at redshift z = 0.692. Nature. 455(7213):638–640.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ishiyama JT. 2011. Comparative Politics. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
An edited book
Posta PD. 2007. Effetti, potenzialità e limiti della globalizzazione: Una visione multidisciplinare. Rossi AM, editor. Milano: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Pearson CE, Weinstein RA, Gagliano SM, Kelley DB. 2014. Prehistoric Site Discovery on the Outer Continental Shelf, Gulf of Mexico, United States of America. In: Evans AM, Flatman JC, Flemming NC, editors. Prehistoric Archaeology on the Continental Shelf: A Global Review. New York, NY: Springer. p. 53–72.

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.

Blog post
Taub B. 2016 Dec 9. A New Type Of Phantom Memory Has Been Found In The Human Brain. IFLScience.


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. 2010. Helium Program: Key Developments Since the Early 1990s and Future Considerations. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office Report No.: GAO-10-700T.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Watson KL. 2017. Putting together the pieces of a social cognition deficit: A retrospective case study [Doctoral dissertation]. [Long Beach, CA]: 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
Novick SM. 2013 Nov 10. Local Bakeries Prepare for Holiday Overdrive. New York Times.:LI10.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Hapgood 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Miklius and Cervelli 2003; Hapgood 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Miklius and Cervelli 2003)
  • Three or more authors: (Wolfe et al. 2008)

About the journal

Full journal titleBehavioral Ecology
AbbreviationBehav. Ecol.
ISSN (print)1045-2249
ISSN (online)1465-7279
ScopeAnimal Science and Zoology
Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Other styles