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
Goldberg DE. 2002. Parasitology. When the host is smarter than the parasite. Science. 296(5567):482–483.
A journal article with 2 authors
Trauger JT, Traub WA. 2007. A laboratory demonstration of the capability to image an Earth-like extrasolar planet. Nature. 446(7137):771–773.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ting JPY, Duncan JA, Lei Y. 2010. How the noninflammasome NLRs function in the innate immune system. Science. 327(5963):286–290.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Gu M, Xiao X-C, Liu G, Thevuthasan S, Baer DR, Zhang J-G, Liu J, Browning ND, Wang C-M. 2014. Mesoscale origin of the enhanced cycling-stability of the Si-conductive polymer anode for Li-ion batteries. Sci Rep. 4:3684.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ollivier J-P, Torrenti J-M, Carcassès M. 2012. Physical Properties of Concrete and Concrete Constituents. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Zylka MP, Fuehres H, Fronzetti Colladon A, Gloor PA, editors. 2016. Designing Networks for Innovation and Improvisation: Proceedings of the 6th International COINs Conference. Cham: Springer International Publishing (Springer Proceedings in Complexity).
A chapter in an edited book
Brown JR. 2005. Naturalism, Pictures, and Platonic Intuitions. In: Mancosu P, Jørgensen KF, Pedersen SA, editors. Visualization, Explanation and Reasoning Styles in Mathematics. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands. p. 57–73.

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
Hale T. 2016 Jul 18. Two Oddly Adorable Baby Flamingos Are Welcomed To Columbus Zoo. 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. 1991. The Intermodal Approach to Transportation. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office Report No.: 144264.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Carman SB. 2013. Leadership style and church attendance: An ex post facto study of Churches of Christ in Texas [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
(nyt) SK. 2004 Nov 30. World Briefing | Europe: Russia: Dalai Lama Arrives. New York Times.:A6.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Goldberg 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Goldberg 2002; Trauger and Traub 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Trauger and Traub 2007)
  • Three or more authors: (Gu 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