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
Schiermeier, Q. 2005. Pity poor postdocs. Nature 434: 540–541.
A journal article with 2 authors
Lim, C. and R. Allada. 2013. ATAXIN-2 activates PERIOD translation to sustain circadian rhythms in Drosophila. Science 340: 875–879.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kieffer, H. H., P. R. Christensen and T. N. Titus. 2006. CO2 jets formed by sublimation beneath translucent slab ice in Mars’ seasonal south polar ice cap. Nature 442: 793–796.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
McMurray, R. J., A. K. T. Wann, C. L. Thompson, J. T. Connelly and M. M. Knight. 2013. Surface topography regulates wnt signaling through control of primary cilia structure in mesenchymal stem cells. Sci. Rep. 3: 3545.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Grous, A. 2011. Applied Metrology for Manufacturing Engineering. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Lindner, W., M. Mesiti, C. Türker, Y. Tzitzikas and A. I. Vakali (eds). 2005. Current Trends in Database Technology - EDBT 2004 Workshops: EDBT 2004 Workshops PhD, DataX, PIM, P2P&DB, and ClustWeb, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, March 14-18, 2004. Revised Selected Papers. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Youssef, M. K., D. Harris and M. J. Rotheram-Borus. 2016. The Impact of Pediatric HIV on Families. In: A Clinical Guide to Pediatric HIV: Bridging the Gaps Between Research and Practice (T. Chenneville, ed), pp. 95–132. 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. Prescription Painkillers, Not Marijuana, Are The Gateway Drug To Heroin Addiction Says US Attorney General. 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. 1985. The Potential Impact of National Security Decision Directive 145 on Civil Agencies. 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
Avila, R. 2017. Support and Resources for Homeless Families: 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
(nyt), S. K. 2002. World Briefing | Europe: Russia: Weapons Found Near Vnukovo Airport.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Schiermeier, 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Schiermeier, 2005; Lim and Allada, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Lim and Allada, 2013)
  • Three or more authors: (McMurray 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

Other styles