How to format your references using the Behavioral and Brain Functions citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Behavioral and Brain Functions. 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. Graeber MB. Changing face of microglia. Science. 2010;330:783–8.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Yu T, Eberly JH. Sudden death of entanglement. Science. 2009;323:598–601.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Salje J, Zuber B, Löwe J. Electron cryomicroscopy of E. coli reveals filament bundles involved in plasmid DNA segregation. Science. 2009;323:509–12.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Bethlem HL, Berden G, Crompvoets FM, Jongma RT, van Roij AJ, Meijer G. Electrostatic trapping of ammonia molecules. Nature. 2000;406:491–4.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Lalanne C. Mechanical Shock. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2014.
An edited book
1. Lünen A von, Travis C, editors. History and GIS: Epistemologies, Considerations and Reflections. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands; 2013.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Hockings E. A Critical Examination of Policy-Developments in Information Governance and the Biosciences. In: Mittelstadt BD, Floridi L, editors. The Ethics of Biomedical Big Data. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016. p. 95–115.

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 Behavioral and Brain Functions.

Blog post
1. Fang J. Scientists Figure Out Why Human Screams Are So Bloodcurdling [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2015 [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. Information Technology: Immigration and Customs Enforcement Needs to Fully Address Significant Infrastructure Modernization Program Management Weaknesses. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2007 Apr. Report No.: GAO-07-565.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Roy R. “Jagoron: Awakening” to Gender in Non Governmental Organizations in Contemporary Bengal [Doctoral dissertation]. [Columbus, OH]: Ohio State University; 2013.

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. ‘Trump Bump’ Gives President a Win in His First 100 Days. New York Times. 2017 Apr 28;B1.

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 titleBehavioral and Brain Functions
AbbreviationBehav. Brain Funct.
ISSN (online)1744-9081
ScopeGeneral Medicine
Behavioral Neuroscience
Biological Psychiatry
Cognitive Neuroscience

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