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
Moller DE. 2001. New drug targets for type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome. Nature. 414(6865):821–827.
A journal article with 2 authors
Chester TL, Parcher JF. 2001. Tech.Sight. Blurring the boundaries. Science. 291(5503):502–503.
A journal article with 3 authors
Feinstein NW, Allen S, Jenkins E. 2013. Outside the pipeline: reimagining science education for nonscientists. Science. 340(6130):314–317.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Loh S-L, Teh C, Muller J, Guccione E, Hong W, Korzh V. 2014. Zebrafish yap1 plays a role in differentiation of hair cells in posterior lateral line. Sci Rep. 4:4289.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Simonović SP. 2010. Systems Approach to Management of Disasters. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Hogan JA. 2012. Duration and Bandwidth Limiting: Prolate Functions, Sampling, and Applications. 1st Edition. Lakey J, editor. Boston, MA: Birkhäuser (Applied and Numerical Harmonic Analysis).
A chapter in an edited book
Ma Y-F, Li HX, Sun P. 2007. A Lightweight Agent Fabric for Service Autonomy. In: Huang J, Kowalczyk R, Maamar Z, Martin D, Müller I, Stoutenburg S, Sycara KP, editors. Service-Oriented Computing: Agents, Semantics, and Engineering: AAMAS 2007 International Workshop, SOCASE 2007, Honolulu, HI, USA, May 14, 2007. Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer. (Lecture Notes in Computer Science). p. 63–77.

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
Davis J. 2016 Sep 16. Maternal Deaths Worldwide Have Almost Halved In 25 Years. IFLScience. [accessed 2018 Oct 30].


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. 2009. Next Generation Air Transportation System: Issues Associated with Midterm Implementation of Capabilities and Full System Transformation. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office Report No.: GAO-09-481T.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Williamson JW. 2009. Measurements and analysis of extinction in vitiated flame sheets [Doctoral dissertation]. [College Park, MD]: 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
Brantley B. 2016 Nov 14. Sorry, Wrong Number, but Hey, Let’s Have a Talk. New York Times.:C5.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Moller 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Chester and Parcher 2001; Moller 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Chester and Parcher 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Loh et al. 2014)

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