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
Seeman N. 2015. Use data to challenge mental-health stigma. Nature. 528(7582):309.
A journal article with 2 authors
Kuwahara H, Gao X. 2013. Stochastic effects as a force to increase the complexity of signaling networks. Sci Rep. 3:2297.
A journal article with 3 authors
Matter N, Herrlich P, König H. 2002. Signal-dependent regulation of splicing via phosphorylation of Sam68. Nature. 420(6916):691–695.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Fujishiro T, Kawasaki H, Aihara M, Saeki T, Ymagishi R, Atarashi T, Mayama C, Araie M. 2014. Establishment of an experimental ferret ocular hypertension model for the analysis of central visual pathway damage. Sci Rep. 4:6501.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Knudsen S. 2005. Guide to Analysis of DNA Microarray Data. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Srinivasan D, Jain LC, editors. 2010. Innovations in Multi-Agent Systems and Applications - 1. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer (Studies in Computational Intelligence).
A chapter in an edited book
Grillmair CJ, Carlin JL. 2016. Stellar Streams and Clouds in the Galactic Halo. In: Newberg HJ, Carlin JL, editors. Tidal Streams in the Local Group and Beyond: Observations and Implications. Cham: Springer International Publishing. (Astrophysics and Space Science Library). p. 87–112.

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
Andrew E. 2015 Aug 3. After Pluto There’s Still Plenty Of The Solar System Left To Explore. 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. 2004. Aviation Security: Factors Could Limit the Effectiveness of the Transportation Security Administration’s Efforts to Secure Aerial Advertising Operations. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office Report No.: GAO-04-499R.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Walker NA. 2010. Mothers’ description of raising two children with an autism spectrum disorder: A case study [Doctoral dissertation]. [Minneapolis, MN]: Capella 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
Yablonsky L. 2007 Aug 26. Eye Spy. New York Times.:6228.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Seeman 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Kuwahara and Gao 2013; Seeman 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Kuwahara and Gao 2013)
  • Three or more authors: (Fujishiro 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