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
Hughes V. 2012. Microbiome: Cultural differences. Nature. 492(7427):S14-5.
A journal article with 2 authors
Dragoi G, Tonegawa S. 2011. Preplay of future place cell sequences by hippocampal cellular assemblies. Nature. 469(7330):397–401.
A journal article with 3 authors
Müller H, Peters A, Chu S. 2010. A precision measurement of the gravitational redshift by the interference of matter waves. Nature. 463(7283):926–929.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Williams BR, Prabhu VR, Hunter KE, Glazier CM, Whittaker CA, Housman DE, Amon A. 2008. Aneuploidy affects proliferation and spontaneous immortalization in mammalian cells. Science. 322(5902):703–709.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Killops S, Killops V. 2004. Introduction to Organic Geochemistry. Malden, MA USA: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
An edited book
Fiadeiro JL, Inverardi P, editors. 2008. Fundamental Approaches to Software Engineering: 11th International Conference, FASE 2008, Held as Part of the Joint European Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software, ETAPS 2008, Budapest, Hungary, March 29-April 6, 2008. Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer (Lecture Notes in Computer Science).
A chapter in an edited book
Cooper CR, Satcher RA, Gurski LA, van Golen KL. 2009. Mechanism of Metastasis to Bone: The Role of Bone Marrow Endothelium. In: Bronner F, Farach-Carson MC, editors. Bone and Cancer. London: Springer. p. 57–71.

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
Carpineti A. 2017 Jan 4. VISTA Uncovers New Secrets In The Orion Nebula. 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. 1998. Air Traffic Control: Observations on FAA’s Modernization Program. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office Report No.: T-RCED/AIMD-98-93.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Chung EK. 2003. The Sophisticated Genetic Diversities of Human Complement Component C4 and RCCX Modules in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia [Doctoral dissertation]. [Columbus, OH]: Ohio State University.

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
Walsh MW. 2015 Sep 3. Calstrs Eyes a Strategy to Cut Risk. New York Times.:B6.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Hughes 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Dragoi and Tonegawa 2011; Hughes 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Dragoi and Tonegawa 2011)
  • Three or more authors: (Williams 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