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
Zon, L.I. Intrinsic and Extrinsic Control of Haematopoietic Stem-Cell Self-Renewal. Nature 2008, 453, 306–313.
A journal article with 2 authors
Gluckman, P.D.; Hanson, M.A. Living with the Past: Evolution, Development, and Patterns of Disease. Science 2004, 305, 1733–1736.
A journal article with 3 authors
Mukandavire, Z.; Smith, D.L.; Morris, J.G., Jr Cholera in Haiti: Reproductive Numbers and Vaccination Coverage Estimates. Sci. Rep. 2013, 3, 997.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Anderson, L.L.; Mao, X.; Scott, B.A.; Crowder, C.M. Survival from Hypoxia in C. Elegans by Inactivation of Aminoacyl-TRNA Synthetases. Science 2009, 323, 630–633.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Derbyshire, E. Nutrition in the Childbearing Years; John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.: Chichester, West Sussex, UK, 2011; ISBN 9781444344790.
An edited book
Pharmacotherapy of Obesity; Wilding, J.P.H., Ed.; Milestones in Drug Therapy; Birkhäuser: Basel, 2008; ISBN 9783764371388.
A chapter in an edited book
Godart, B.; de Rooij, M.; Wood, J.G.M. Confirmation Investigation. In Guide to Diagnosis and Appraisal of AAR Damage to Concrete in Structures: Part 1 Diagnosis (AAR 6.1); Godart, B., de Rooij, M., Wood, J.G.M., Eds.; RILEM State-of-the-Art Reports; Springer Netherlands: Dordrecht, 2013; pp. 31–63 ISBN 9789400765665.

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, D. Can You Really Be Poisoned By Green Or Sprouting Potatoes? Available online: (accessed on 30 October 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 Financial Management Systems: Status of OMB’s Review of Financial System Projects; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 2012;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Moulder, J.C. Comparative Analgesic Effects of Prepulse Inhibition and Reduced Voltage Waveforms in Defibrillation. Doctoral dissertation, George Washington University: Washington, DC, 2010.

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
Rothenberg, B. It’s Jelena Ostapenko on Her ID, and Alona to Those in the Know. New York Times 2017, SP7.

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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