How to format your references using the Behavioral Sciences citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Behavioral Sciences. 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
Bird, A. Molecular biology. Methylation talk between histones and DNA. Science 2001, 294, 2113–2115.
A journal article with 2 authors
Li, A.; Yong, X. Entanglement guarantees emergence of cooperation in quantum prisoner’s dilemma games on networks. Sci. Rep. 2014, 4, 6286.
A journal article with 3 authors
Prospero, J.M.; Bullard, J.E.; Hodgkins, R. High-latitude dust over the North Atlantic: inputs from Icelandic proglacial dust storms. Science 2012, 335, 1078–1082.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Zhou, W.; Nakamura, D.; Liu, H.; Kataura, H.; Takeyama, S. Relative ordering between bright and dark excitons in single-walled carbon nanotubes. Sci. Rep. 2014, 4, 6999.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bai, Q.; Bai, Y.; Ruan, W. Advances in Pipes and Pipelines; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ, 2017; ISBN 9781119041290.
An edited book
Towards Ubiquitous Learning: 6th European Conference of Technology Enhanced Learning, EC-TEL 2011, Palermo, Italy, September 20-23, 2011. Proceedings; Kloos, C.D., Gillet, D., Crespo García, R.M., Wild, F., Wolpers, M., Eds.; Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2011; Vol. 6964; ISBN 9783642239847.
A chapter in an edited book
Sand, O.; Turatsinze, J.-V.; van Helden, J. Evaluating the prediction of cis-acting regulatory elements in genome sequences. In Modern Genome Annotation: The BioSapiens Network; Frishman, D., Valencia, A., Eds.; Springer: Vienna, 2008; pp. 55–89 ISBN 9783211751220.

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 Sciences.

Blog post
Andrew, E. Pseudoscience And Conspiracy Theory Are Not Victimless Crimes Against Science Available online: (accessed on Oct 30, 2018).


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
Government Accountability Office Year 2000 Computing Crisis: Strong Leadership and Effective Public/Private Cooperation Needed to Avoid Major Disruptions; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1998;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Ibarra, A.L. Novice Clinicians and the Experience of Transcendence in Clinical Training and Supervision. Doctoral dissertation, Pepperdine University: Malibu, CA, 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
Caramanica, J. Sometimes Heartbreak Is a Blessing. New York Times 2017, C2.

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 Sciences
AbbreviationBehav. Sci. (Basel)
ISSN (online)2076-328X

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