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
Willner I. 2002. Tech.Sight. Bioelectronics. Biomaterials for sensors, fuel cells, and circuitry. Science. 298(5602):2407–2408.
A journal article with 2 authors
Bremner R, Sage J. 2014. Cancer: The origin of human retinoblastoma. Nature. 514(7522):312–313.
A journal article with 3 authors
Siegel M, Buschman TJ, Miller EK. 2015. Cortical information flow during flexible sensorimotor decisions. Science. 348(6241):1352–1355.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Wiltschko W, Traudt J, Güntürkün O, Prior H, Wiltschko R. 2002. Lateralization of magnetic compass orientation in a migratory bird. Nature. 419(6906):467–470.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Cliteur P. 2010. The Secular Outlook. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
An edited book
Tjoa AM, Trujillo J, editors. 2005. Data Warehousing and Knowledge Discovery: 7th International Conference, DaWaK 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 22-26, 2005. Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer (Lecture Notes in Computer Science).
A chapter in an edited book
Smith D, Mayes T, Smith R. 2012. Culture-Specific Diagnoses. In: Loue S, Sajatovic M, editors. Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health. New York, NY: Springer. p. 49–64.

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
Taub B. 2016 Apr 29. Brainless Slime Is Capable Of Learning. 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. 1978. U.S. Economic Aid for the West Bank and Gaza. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office Report No.: ID-78-35.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Harris NS. 2012. The Impact of Action Learning Experience on Reflective Practice [Doctoral dissertation]. [Washington, DC]: George Washington 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
Goldberg S. 2017 Apr 19. The town where mercury still rises. New York Times.:0.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Willner 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Willner 2002; Bremner and Sage 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Bremner and Sage 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Wiltschko et al. 2002)

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