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. Canup RM. Forming a Moon with an Earth-like composition via a giant impact. Science. 2012;338:1052–5.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. DeLong EF, Karl DM. Genomic perspectives in microbial oceanography. Nature. 2005;437:336–42.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. McCulloh KA, Sperry JS, Adler FR. Water transport in plants obeys Murray’s law. Nature. 2003;421:939–42.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Zimborás Z, Faccin M, Kádár Z, Whitfield JD, Lanyon BP, Biamonte J. Quantum transport enhancement by time-reversal symmetry breaking. Sci Rep. 2013;3:2361.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Molimard J. Experimental Mechanics of Solids and Structures. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2016.
An edited book
1. Wu X, Jain L, Graña M, Duro RJ, d’Anjou A, Wang PP, editors. Information Processing with Evolutionary Algorithms: From Industrial Applications to Academic Speculations. London: Springer; 2005.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Mangao DD, Thoe NK. Search for SEAMEO Young Scientists (SSYS) – RECSAM’s Initiative for Promoting Public Science Education: The Way Forward. In: Zhang B, Fulmer GW, Liu X, Hu W, Peng S, Wei B, editors. International Conference on Science Education 2012 Proceedings: Science Education: Policies and Social Responsibilities. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2014. p. 45–56.

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. Disease Evolution: Our Long History Of Fighting Viruses [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. Improvements Needed in DOT’s Hazardous Materials Rail Safety Program. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1989 Nov. Report No.: T-RCED-90-13.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Portwood B. Inclusive Special and General Education Secondary Teachers’ Attitudes towards the Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in the General Education Setting [Doctoral dissertation]. [ St. Charles, MO]: Lindenwood University; 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. Koblin J. Hackers Briefly Seize HBO’s Twitter Account in the Latest in a Series of Breaches. New York Times. 2017 Aug 17;B3.

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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