How to format your references using the Zoological Letters citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Zoological Letters. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
1. Mandavilli A. Struggling to make an impact. Nature. 2004;430:935.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Lo M-T, Lee W-C. Detecting a weak association by testing its multiple perturbations: a data mining approach. Sci Rep. 2014;4:5081.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Jansen JFA, Gearhart JD, Bulte JWM. Comment on “Magnetic resonance spectroscopy identifies neural progenitor cells in the live human brain.” Science. 2008;321:640.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Smith DM, Lopez LI, Lin RP, Barrington-Leigh CP. Terrestrial gamma-ray flashes observed up to 20 MeV. Science. 2005;307:1085–8.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Institute of Management and Administration (IOMA). Cost Reduction and Control Best Practices. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2012.
An edited book
1. Liu X. Location Privacy Protection in Mobile Networks. Li X, editor. New York, NY: Springer; 2013.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Acha EM, Piola A, Iribarne O, Mianzan H. Management and Conservation of Marine Life. In: Piola A, Iribarne O, Mianzan H, editors. Ecological Processes at Marine Fronts: Oases in the ocean. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2015. p. 33–9.

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 Zoological Letters.

Blog post
1. Luntz S. First Rocky Material Found Coming From The Oort Cloud At The Edge Of The Solar System [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2016 [cited 2018 Oct 30]. Available from:


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
1. Government Accountability Office. Perkins Student Loans: Options That Could Make the Program More Financially Independent. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1991 Dec. Report No.: HRD-92-6.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Vargo G. Social protest and the novel: Chartism, the radical press, and early Victorian fiction [Doctoral dissertation]. [New York, NY]: Columbia University; 2010.

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
1. Wagner J. His Slump in the Past, a Met Ensures His Teammates’ Struggles Matter Less. New York Times. 2017 Apr 11;B12.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [1].
This sentence cites two references [1,2].
This sentence cites four references [1–4].

About the journal

Full journal titleZoological Letters
AbbreviationZoological Lett.
ISSN (online)2056-306X

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