How to format your references using the The Biological Bulletin citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for The Biological Bulletin. 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
Grosjean, M. 2001. Mid-Holocene climate in the south-central Andes: humid or dry? Science 292: 2391.
A journal article with 2 authors
Fauci, A. S. and F. S. Collins. 2012. Benefits and risks of influenza research: lessons learned. Science 336: 1522–1523.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kim, J.-H., M. Yoneya and H. Yokoyama. 2002. Tristable nematic liquid-crystal device using micropatterned surface alignment. Nature 420: 159–162.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Agliari, E., A. Barra, R. Burioni, A. Di Biasio and G. Uguzzoni. 2013. Collective behaviours: from biochemical kinetics to electronic circuits. Sci. Rep. 3: 3458.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Massari, M., G. Gianfrate and L. Zanetti. 2016. Corporate Valuation. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Wieland, V. (ed). 2010. The Science and Practice of Monetary Policy Today: The Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics 2007. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Giuffrida, S., S. Di Mauro and A. Valenti. 2016. Cap Rate and the Historic City. Past and Future of the Real Estate of Noto (Italy). In: Computational Science and Its Applications -- ICCSA 2016: 16th International Conference, Beijing, China, July 4-7, 2016, Proceedings, Part IV (O. Gervasi, B. Murgante, S. Misra, A. M. A. C. Rocha, C. M. Torre, D. Taniar, B. O. Apduhan, E. Stankova, and S. Wang, eds), pp. 63–78. Springer International Publishing, Cham.

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 The Biological Bulletin.

Blog post
Taub, B. 2016. Earliest Evidence Of Right-Handedness In Hominins Could Reveal Origins Of Human Intelligence. 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. 1990. Information Technology: A Model to Help Managers Decrease Acquisition Risks. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Rosie, S. A. 2012. Examining stakeholder perceptions of educational success in the Malagasy public education system. University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ.

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
Grynbaum, M. M. 2017. Another Press Secretary Profile.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Grosjean, 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Grosjean, 2001; Fauci and Collins, 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Fauci and Collins, 2012)
  • Three or more authors: (Agliari et al., 2013)

About the journal

Full journal titleThe Biological Bulletin
AbbreviationBiol. Bull.
ISSN (print)0006-3185
ISSN (online)1939-8697
ScopeGeneral Agricultural and Biological Sciences

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