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. Nayar A. Earth science: A lakeful of trouble. Nature. 2009;460:321–3.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Trumbore SE, Gaudinski JB. Atmospheric science. The secret lives of roots. Science. 2003;302:1344–5.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Santos NC, Benz W, Mayor M. Extrasolar planets: constraints for planet formation models. Science. 2005;310:251–5.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Rosei F, Schunack M, Jiang P, Gourdon A, Laegsgaard E, Stensgaard I, et al. Organic molecules acting as templates on metal surfaces. Science. 2002;296:328–31.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Wilmott P, Orrell D. The Money Formula. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2017.
An edited book
1. Yadav BS, Mohan M, editors. Ancient Indian Leaps into Mathematics. Boston, MA: Birkhäuser; 2011.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Boutlis CS, Riley EM, Anstey NM, de Souza JB. Glycosylphosphatidylinositols in Malaria Pathogenesis and Immunity: Potential for Therapeutic Inhibition and Vaccination. In: Langhorne J, editor. Immunology and Immunopathogenesis of Malaria. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2005. p. 145–85.

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. Andrew E. How the 2011 Japanese Tsunami Changed the Face of Science [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. Reasons for Ending Financial Support to the Dimmitt Independent School District Follow Through Project. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1972 Nov. Report No.: B-164031(1).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Morgan AJ. Analyzing Red and Gray Stages of Bark Beetle Attack in the San Bernardino National Forest Using Remote Sensing [Doctoral dissertation]. [Long Beach, CA]: California State University, Long Beach; 2017.

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. Kelly H. Evolving. New York Times. 2016 Jun 1;BR17.

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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