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Zoology: BIOL112 | Animal Biology - Referencing Guidelines


Science progresses when people combine new ideas and perspectives with existing data and information. When you use another person’s or group’s ideas (including quotes, images, data, and even emailed conversations), it is important that you acknowledge where the ideas came from. If you don’t, you are plagiarising – passing off someone else’s work as your own – which is a dishonest practice that can be penalised under the University’s Academic Integrity Policy. It is vital that you keep track of where your ideas and information came from so you can acknowledge them properly.

Watch this (very) brief introduction to referencing AKA 'citing' sources, by North Carolina State University Library:

Writing animal names

The following rules over-ride any formatting that may exist in book and journal article titles.

Italicise: Latin binomens (e.g. Homo sapiens, Jasus edwardsii) should be italicised but common names (e.g. human, rock lobster) should not. If it is not possible to italicise then underline instead.

Captialise: Genus names should be capitalised but the species names should not (i.e. Genus species, Jasus edwardsii). Phylum, class, order, and family names should be capitalised (e.g. Chordata, Mammalia, Primates, Hominidae) but when used in a general way there is no need to do so. For example, Jasus edwardsii are crustaceans and so classed in the phylum Arthropoda.  Humans are mammals, in the family Hominidae.

Reference managers

You can freely or cheaply access computer programs called reference managers that will manage your references for you. Reference managers integrate with word processing programs (Mac and PC) to format both in-text and end-references as you require.

For some sources (e.g. print books and information you get from websites), you will need to input the information to the manager by hand, for others (e.g. online journal articles), you can download “citations” from the databases – text files of information - direct to the reference manager.

You can also download “styles” from the websites of the reference managers so that your references are correctly formatted. If you download a style for BIOL112, please use the most recent edition of the CSE Style Manual (Name-Year). Note there are other CSE styles; you should use the (Name-Year) format, but remember to modify the reference list so that journal names are written out in full. 


Note that, whilst reference managers do a lot of the hard work for you, using one is not an excuse for incorrectly formatted references.

Referencing for BIOL112

Formal, written acknowledgements – usually known as references – come in two parts:

  • The in-text reference (sometimes referred to as a citation) and,
  • The end-reference. Multiple end-references form your reference list.

The in-text reference is written in to the body of your text. It is where you note that you used someone else’s information.

The end-reference is where you provide details so that someone else can also find that information.

The style or format required for references varies from paper to paper at university, and from publisher to publisher in the real world. This page provides information on how to write some of the more common reference types – such as book chapters and journal articles – using the style required for BIOL112, namely CSE (Name-Year).

If the type of reference you have isn’t covered in this guide, or if you’re unsure how to apply the guidelines provided to your reference, please see Chapter 29 of “Scientific style and format: the CSE manual for authors, editors, and publishers, Council of Science Editors. Style Manual Committee, Eighth edition. Chicago; London: The University of Chicago Press 2014”, which is on reserve in the Science Library. Be sure to use the CSE guidelines for the Name-Year format, but note that there is one slight modification to this format – we require journal names to be written in full.

If you’re still stuck, please talk to the Zoology Science Librarian or to the BIOL112 Teaching Fellows.

If referencing seems a bit pedantic, remember, it isn’t just about avoiding plagiarism. Referencing serves a number of other functions:

  • It allows your reader to form an opinion as to how thoroughly you’ve done your research.
  • It allows your reader to look at the sources you’ve used, so they can build on your work as you have built on other people’s.

You will need to reference throughout your university career and beyond, so it’s an essential transferable skill.

Referencing - specifics

There are four common ways to use in-text references. The following are examples for reference with only one author. Note that the in-text reference is given close to the words to which it relates, rather than appearing at then end of a long clause or string of sentences. 


  1. List the author’s name and year in parentheses (brackets) at the end of a sentence:

Reproductive rate was not a good predictor of extinction (Smith 1990).


  1. State the author’s name in the text and provide only the year in parentheses:

Smith (1990) noted that reproductive rate was not a good predictor of extinction.


  1. State both the year and the author’s name in the text:

In 1990, Smith found that reproductive rate was not a good predictor of extinction.


  1. If you cite a specific part of a document (e.g. a figure or table) then you should give the page number as well:

The data showed that reproductive rate was not a good predictor of extinction (Smith 1990, p 91).

If the works you cite have more than one author or don’t fit this model exactly, you will need to apply some of the following variations:

More than one author

If your source has two authors, write both names separated by an “and” (not an “&”). For sources with more than two authors, provide the first author and then write et al. This is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase et alia, meaning “and others”. Note that there is a full stop (period) after et al. and that this phrase is not italicised for CSE formatting.

For two authors: (Kim and Jones 2014)

For more than two authors: (Lee et al. 1988)

Multiple works by different authors

If you reference several sources at once (e.g. when lots of studies found the same thing), list them chronologically and then alphabetically. That is, order the in-text references from the earliest to the most recent, but if two (or more) sources were published in the same year then list those in alphabetical order. Separate each source with a semicolon (;).

(Smith 1951; Alderly and Kim 1985; McGregor et al. 1985; Perez 1985; Chopra 1992; Koskinen 2012).

Multiple works by the same author published in the same year

If you cite multiple sources written by the same person in the same year, use a, b, c, etc. to distinguish the sources and use the same letters in the reference list. Be very careful to keep track of which information came from which source!

(Jones 2015a, 2015b)

Organisations as authors

Sometimes you will use a source that was authored by an organisation – such as the Department of Conservation. In these cases, list the author as an easily recognisable abbreviation.

The Department of Conservation becomes DOC: (DOC 1998)

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations becomes FAO: (FAO 2016)

Special cases

These include authors with identical surnames, multiple works by the same author in different years, and works with no official authors. If you come across such sources please consult the CSE manual for the correct format.

For CSE references, you should not use commas or full stops to separate author and year (e.g. (Smith 1990)) but you should use a comma to separate year and page number if you use this form (e.g. (Smith 1990, p 91)). 

You should use a full stop after “et al.” (e.g. (Lee et al. 1988)) but you should not italicise the “et al”.

Multiple references in the same pair of parentheses should be separated by semi-colons (;) unless the authors are all the same person, in which case a comma is appropriate.

Make a habit of recording as many of the following as possible, for each source you take notes from in the course of your research:


Journal articles:


Year of publication

Article title

Journal title (note: do not shorten these but write out in full)

Volume (Issue)




Books, book chapters, and other sources:

Author(s) and/or Editor(s)

Year of publication

Title of book and book chapter

Content or medium designator


Secondary author(s)

Place of Publication




When you are ready to put together your reference list, format the information from each source as follows:

Author(s) or Editor(s)

List the last names and initials of each author, in the order in which they appear in the original document. Separate each one with a comma.

James A. J. Mortimer and Terry C. Greene becomes: Mortimer JAJ, Greene TC.

If these people are editors rather than authors follow the names with a comma and “editor(s)”

  Mortimer JAJ, Greene TC, editors.

Include the surnames and initials of the first ten authors. If there are more than ten authors, write the first ten as described above then a comma and “et al.”.


Secondary author(s)

Secondary authors are translators, illustrators, editors, or producers and should be included after the book title.

Shelley D. 1996. An illustrated guide to the echinoderms of Stewart Island. Fitzwilliam B, Illustrator. Christchurch…


Organisations as authors

Give the full name of the organisation in the reference list, but precede it with the abbreviation used in the text in square brackets. Order organisations as authors alphabetically by the full name, not the acronym.

Davidson T. 1990. Bat spotting for beginners….

[DOC] Department of Conservation. 2008. The birds of New Zealand…

Diggleby F. 1996. Godwits and their kin…


Books: Include both book title and subtitle punctuated as in the original. Capitalise only the first word as well as proper nouns (names), acronyms and initials.

New Zealand frogs and reptiles

Journal articles: Give the title of the article punctuated as in the original, and capitalise only the first word as well as proper nouns (names), acronyms and initials. The name of the journal should be given in full, which is a BIOL112 modification to CSE (Name-Year) formatting style.

Journal article title: Differential patterns of diversity at microsatellite, MHC, and TLR loci in bottlenecked South Island saddleback (Philesturnus carunculatus) populations

Journal title: New Zealand Journal of Ecology


Content designator

These describe the format of a document (e.g. letter, thesis) and appear in square brackets after the title. They are only necessary if the format isn’t immediately clear from the rest of the reference:

…Seasonality of nesting by tuatara at Orokonui Ecosanctuary [Thesis]…


Medium designator

These indicate that the document is in a non-conventional format (e.g. CD-ROM) and appear in square brackets after the title. They are only necessary if you need special equipment to read the document, and/or the format is not immediately clear from the reference:

…The native geckos of New Zealand (revised edition) [CD-ROM]…


Place of Publication and Publisher

The place of publication refers to the city where the publisher is located and can usually be found on the title page of the book in question. If no place of publication can be found use the words [place unknown] in square brackets. If more than one city is listed, use only the first. Give the name of the publisher in full e.g. Pearson Education.



Indicate only the pagination (page numbers) of the section you are referring to i.e. a chapter of a book or a journal article. If you refer to an entire book then pagination is optional. Note that page ranges should be written with an n-dash (–), not a hyphen (-).



The DOI is a unique alphanumeric string that provides a persistent link for journal articles that have been published on the internet. Only journal articles post-2000 will have DOIs. Please do not list URLs unless there is no other way of locating the source; PURLS (persistent URLs), permanent URLs or stable URLs, are preferred whenever possible.



If a publication is part of a series, you should add the series title and volume number at the end of the reference.

…. Wellington: New Zealand Oceanographic Institute. 48 p. New Zealand Oceanographic Institute memoir. Volume 16.

For each source you have cited, combine the components to form an end-reference, as shown in the next tab in this box.

Every source you’ve used should have an in-text reference and an end-reference.

You must have read each source that you include – there should be no “referenced in” references.

List each end-reference alphabetically by the last name of the first author.

Where an author has multiple in-text references in the same year, distinguish these with a, b, c etc. (allocated in the order you use them) and list in the end-references, again using a, b, c, etc. to tell them apart. For end-references with the same author but with publications in different years, list the end-references chronologically, i.e. starting with the earliest.


Davidson Y, Thomson B. 1996. Ruminations on…

Hadley G. 2016. Breeding in Megadyptes

Jones B. 2015a. The occurrence of …

Jones B. 2015b. The distribution of …

Kim L. 2008. Semantics in zoology…

Kim L. 2009. Zoology and my…

Sabine R, Galagan J, Smithfield C. 2006. North Island geckos…


There is no official line spacing for CSE format, but we would like you to double-space your end-references (the rest of your assignments should also be double spaced) and to indent second and subsequent lines for each end-reference with a hanging indent (a single tab).

Here are some examples of commonly used sources.

If you have another type of source, be sure to look up the proper way to reference it in Chapter 29 of “Scientific style and format: the CSE manual for authors, editors, and publishers, Council of Science Editors. Style Manual Committee, Eighth edition. Chicago; London: The University of Chicago Press 2014”, which is on reserve in the Science Library.

Note that for many electronic sources, not all of the requested information is always available. Do your best to supply as much as you can.


Journal article

Author(s). Year. Article title. Journal name. Volume (Issue): Pages. DOI or URL if known

Innes J, King CM, Bridgman L, Fitzgerald N, Arnold G, Cox N. 2010. Effect of grazing on ship rat density in forest fragments of lowland Waikato, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Ecology. 34(2): 227–232.



Author(s). Year. Book title. Edition. Place of Publication: Publisher.                                         

Chapman MA, Lewis MH, Winterbourne MJ. 2011. Guide to the freshwater crustacea of New Zealand. Christchurch: New Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society.


Chapter in a book

Author(s). Year. Chapter title. In: Editor(s). Book title. Edition. Place of Publication: Publisher. Page numbers for that chapter.

Lokman M, Rohr D, Davie P, Young G. 2003. The physiology of silvering in anguillid eels: androgens and control of metamorphosis from yellow to silver stage. In: Aida K, Tsukamoto K, Yamauchi K, editors. Eel biology. Tokyo, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York: Springer-Verlag. p. 331-349.


Electronic book

Author(s) or Editor(s). Year. Book title [medium designator]. Edition. Place of Publication: Publisher; [date updated; date accessed]. DOI or URL

Purcell JE, Angel DL, editors. 2010. Jellyfish blooms: new problems and solutions. [place unknown]: Springer Netherlands; [accessed 2020 Jul 7].

Note: I have not included the medium designator in this reference, as the inclusion of a DOI makes it obvious that it is available online.




Daily J. 2008. Stoat and rat traps: selection and usage of appropriate produces. Wellington N.Z.: National Possum Control Agencies. Report No.: 5872.


Bogisch, M. 2014. Comparing the use of time-lapse photography and visual observations for post release monitoring of Otago Skinks. Dunedin: Department of Zoology, University of Otago. WLM Report No.: 276. [accessed 2020 Jul 7].



Author. Year of publication. Title of website [medium designator]. Place of publication: Publisher; [date updated; date accessed]. URL

[DOC] Department of Conservation. [date unknown]. Albatrosses. [accessed 2020 Jul 7].


Thesis or dissertation

Author(s). Year. Title [content designator]. [Place of Publication]: Publisher (often the name of the university; many theses are officially unpublished but should still be listed in this way). DOI or URL if found online

Ngaluafe PF. 2007. The reproductive biology of sandfish Holothuria scabra, tigerfish Bohadschia argus, Watty Selenkas' sea cucumber Stichopus horrens and prospective management option for sea cucumbers fisheries in Tongan coastal waters [MSc Thesis]. [Dunedin]: Department of Marine Science, University of Otago.