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. Keller R. Shaping the vertebrate body plan by polarized embryonic cell movements. Science. 2002;298:1950–4.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Romanowicz B, Giardini D. Geophysics. The future of permanent seismic networks. Science. 2001;293:2000–1.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Zimov SA, Schuur EAG, Chapin FS 3rd. Climate change. Permafrost and the global carbon budget. Science. 2006;312:1612–3.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Vanlandewijck M, He L, Mäe MA, Andrae J, Ando K, Del Gaudio F, et al. Author Correction: A molecular atlas of cell types and zonation in the brain vasculature. Nature. 2018;560:E3.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Bates J, Gallon C, Bocci M, Walker S, Taylor T. Converged Multimedia Networks. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2006.
An edited book
1. Becvar DS, editor. Handbook of Family Resilience. New York, NY: Springer; 2013.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Metzeler K. Diagnostic criteria, classification, and prognosis of acute leukemias. In: Hiddemann W, editor. Handbook of Acute Leukemia. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016. p. 25–39.

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. Davis J. Male Sparrows With Unfaithful Partners Feed Their Young Less Food [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. Preserving the Interstate System. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1990 Apr. Report No.: T-RCED-90-68.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Vargas AR. Implementing modern geographic technology in the trucking industry: A case study [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. Poniewozik J. Fantasy Frenzy? Or Eerie Dreams? New York Times. 2017 Aug 24;C8.

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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