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
Engheta, N. 2013. Materials science. Pursuing near-zero response. Science 340: 286–287.
A journal article with 2 authors
Fuyuno, I. and D. Cyranoski. 2006. Cash for papers: putting a premium on publication. Nature 441: 792.
A journal article with 3 authors
Prochaska, J. X., J. C. Howk and A. M. Wolfe. 2003. The elemental abundance pattern in a galaxy at z = 2.626. Nature 423: 57–59.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Rocha, D. F. O., F. C. Wouters, G. Machado and A. J. Marsaioli. 2013. First biosynthetic pathway of 1-hepten-3-one in Iporangaia pustulosa (Opiliones). Sci. Rep. 3: 3156.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hansen, K. L. and K. E. Zenobia. 2011. Civil Engineer’s Handbook of Professional Practice. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Kronland-Martinet, R., S. Ystad and K. Jensen (eds). 2008. Computer Music Modeling and Retrieval. Sense of Sounds: 4th International Symposium, CMMR 2007, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 27-31, 2007. Revised Papers. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Bruynooghe, M., J. Gallagher and W. Van Humbeeck. 2005. Inference of Well-Typings for Logic Programs with Application to Termination Analysis. In: Static Analysis: 12th International Symposium, SAS 2005, London, UK, September 7-9, 2005. Proceedings (C. Hankin and I. Siveroni, eds), pp. 35–51. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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
Andrew, E. 2015. Python Requires Emergency Surgery After Swallowing BBQ Tongs. 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. 2009. Career and Technical Education: States Have Broad Flexibility in Implementing Perkins IV. 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
Garlapally, V. 2017. Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles Impact on Metamorphosis and Thyroid Development in African Clawed Frogs. Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL.

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
Wasik, J. F. 2016. Reverse Mortgages Are Quietly Making a Comeback.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Engheta, 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Fuyuno and Cyranoski, 2006; Engheta, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Fuyuno and Cyranoski, 2006)
  • Three or more authors: (Rocha 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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