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. Hassett JP. Chemistry. Dissolved natural organic matter as a microreactor. Science. 2006;311:1723–4.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Soukoulis CM, Wegener M. Materials science. Optical metamaterials--more bulky and less lossy. Science. 2010;330:1633–4.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Montzka SA, Dlugokencky EJ, Butler JH. Non-CO2 greenhouse gases and climate change. Nature. 2011;476:43–50.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Schalch T, Duda S, Sargent DF, Richmond TJ. X-ray structure of a tetranucleosome and its implications for the chromatin fibre. Nature. 2005;436:138–41.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Krishnan V. Probability and Random Processes. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2006.
An edited book
1. Bowyer G, Cole A, editors. Selected References in Trauma and Orthopaedics. London: Springer; 2014.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Perumal J. Identity, Identification and Sociolinguistic Practices. In: Roux C, editor. Safe Spaces: Human Rights Education in Diverse Contexts. Rotterdam: SensePublishers; 2012. p. 63–82.

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. Andrew E. Tomorrow’s Battery Technologies That Could Power Your Home. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2015.


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. Better Management Needed in Civil Agencies Over Selection of In-House or Contract Performance of Support Activities. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1973 Jul. Report No.: B-158685.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Reimer EL. Grant proposal: Support services for families of children diagnosed with autism [Doctoral dissertation]. [Long Beach, CA]: California State University, Long Beach; 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. de la MERCED MJ. A Mattress Maker Strikes a Deal With Target. New York Times. 2017 Jun 19;B2.

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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