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
Jones WD. 2002. Synthetic chemistry. The key to successful organic synthesis is. Science. 295(5553):289–290.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ito T, Handa H. 2015. Myeloid disease: Another action of a thalidomide derivative. Nature. 523(7559):167–168.
A journal article with 3 authors
Zhang Q, Li Y, Tsien RW. 2009. The dynamic control of kiss-and-run and vesicular reuse probed with single nanoparticles. Science. 323(5920):1448–1453.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Lengronne A, Katou Y, Mori S, Yokobayashi S, Kelly GP, Itoh T, Watanabe Y, Shirahige K, Uhlmann F. 2004. Cohesin relocation from sites of chromosomal loading to places of convergent transcription. Nature. 430(6999):573–578.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Stone R, Gutiérrez-Albilla JD. 2013. A Companion to Luis Buñuel. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
An edited book
Thaman SC, editor. 2013. Exclusionary Rules in Comparative Law. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands (Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice).
A chapter in an edited book
Proudler G, Chen L, Dalton C. 2014. TPM2 Requirements. In: Chen L, Dalton C, editors. Trusted Computing Platforms: TPM2.0 in Context. Cham: Springer International Publishing. p. 131–150.

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 Sep 24. No Exoskeleton, No Brain Surgery: Paralyzed Man Walks Again Using Brain Waves. 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. 1993. High Speed Ground Transportation: Financial Barriers to Development. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office Report No.: T-RCED-93-23.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Katz RL. 2014. Graduate nursing students’ perceptions regarding caring for patients with HIV [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
Belson K, Pilon M. 2012 Dec 21. Marathon Organizers Offer Refund or Future Race. New York Times.:B18.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Jones 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Jones 2002; Ito and Handa 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Ito and Handa 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Lengronne et al. 2004)

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

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