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
Gosden, R. 2013. Robert Edwards (1925-2013). Nature 497: 318.
A journal article with 2 authors
Gibson, M. C. and N. Perrimon. 2005. Extrusion and death of DPP/BMP-compromised epithelial cells in the developing Drosophila wing. Science 307: 1785–1789.
A journal article with 3 authors
Truckses, D. M., L. S. Garrenton and J. Thorner. 2004. Jekyll and Hyde in the microbial world. Science 306: 1509–1511.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Gehring, G. M., A. Schweinsberg, C. Barsi, N. Kostinski and R. W. Boyd. 2006. Observation of backward pulse propagation through a medium with a negative group velocity. Science 312: 895–897.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Gasser, W., E. Heiner and K. Elk. 2005. Greensche Funktionen in Festkörper- und Vielteilchenphysik. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, FRG.
An edited book
Ebara, M. 2014. Smart Biomaterials (Y. Kotsuchibashi, R. Narain, N. Idota, Y.-J. Kim, J. M. Hoffman, K. Uto, and T. Aoyagi, eds). Springer Japan, Tokyo.
A chapter in an edited book
Valmari, A. and G. Franceschinis. 2010. Simple O(m logn) Time Markov Chain Lumping. In: Tools and Algorithms for the Construction and Analysis of Systems: 16th International Conference, TACAS 2010, Held as Part of the Joint European Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software, ETAPS 2010, Paphos, Cyprus, March 20-28, 2010. Proceedings (J. Esparza and R. Majumdar, eds), pp. 38–52. 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
Luntz, S. 2014. Cone Snail Pain Killers Could be 100 Times As Effective As Morphine. 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. 1993. NASA Property: Improving Management of Government Equipment Provided to Contractors. 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
Vu, M. K. 2015. Reducing mental health provider burnout through wellness: 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
Lipton, E., B. Protess and A. W. Lehren. 2017. Blue-Red Split: From Capitol To 18th Green.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Gosden, 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Gibson and Perrimon, 2005; Gosden, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Gibson and Perrimon, 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (Gehring et al., 2006)

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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