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
Ko, H. 2014. Neuroscience. Functional organization of synaptic connections in the neocortex. Science 346: 555.
A journal article with 2 authors
Cooper, A. and C. B. Stringer. 2013. Paleontology. Did the Denisovans cross Wallace’s Line? Science 342: 321–323.
A journal article with 3 authors
Stewart, J. T., J. P. Gaebler and D. S. Jin. 2008. Using photoemission spectroscopy to probe a strongly interacting Fermi gas. Nature 454: 744–747.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Campbell, D. B., G. J. Black, L. M. Carter and S. J. Ostro. 2003. Radar evidence for liquid surfaces on Titan. Science 302: 431–434.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Welsh, A. H. 1996. Aspects of Statistical Inference: Welsh/Aspects. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Dall, B. E., S. V. Eden and M. D. Rahl (eds). 2015. Surgery for the Painful, Dysfunctional Sacroiliac Joint: A Clinical Guide. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Balks, M. R. and D. Zabowski. 2016. Soils of Forests. In: Celebrating Soil: Discovering Soils and Landscapes (D. Zabowski, ed), pp. 65–94. 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
Davis, J. 2015. High Stomach Acidity Might Help Animals Protect Against Gut Infection. 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. 1980. Basic Sources of International Petroleum Statistics. 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
Estrada Marroquin, E. M. 2013. Using support groups to help kinship caregivers transition youth to safe and productive community living: A grant proposal. California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

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
McKINLEY, J. C., Jr. 2017. Second Jury Provides Closure to First Jury.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Ko, 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Cooper and Stringer, 2013; Ko, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Cooper and Stringer, 2013)
  • Three or more authors: (Campbell et al., 2003)

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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