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
Medley, G.F. Epidemiology. Predicting the Unpredictable. Science 2001, 294, 1663–1664.
A journal article with 2 authors
Schramke, V.; Allshire, R. Hairpin RNAs and Retrotransposon LTRs Effect RNAi and Chromatin-Based Gene Silencing. Science 2003, 301, 1069–1074.
A journal article with 3 authors
Templeton, C.N.; Greene, E.; Davis, K. Allometry of Alarm Calls: Black-Capped Chickadees Encode Information about Predator Size. Science 2005, 308, 1934–1937.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Rappas, M.; Schumacher, J.; Beuron, F.; Niwa, H.; Bordes, P.; Wigneshweraraj, S.; Keetch, C.A.; Robinson, C.V.; Buck, M.; Zhang, X. Structural Insights into the Activity of Enhancer-Binding Proteins. Science 2005, 307, 1972–1975.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Richards, T. Investing Psychology; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ, 2014; ISBN 9781118779422.
An edited book
Medina, L.S. Evidence-Based Imaging: Optimizing Imaging in Patient Care; Blackmore, C.C., Ed.; Springer: New York, NY, 2006; ISBN 9780387259161.
A chapter in an edited book
Sebestyén, T.; Varga, A. A Novel Comprehensive Index of Network Position and Node Characteristics in Knowledge Networks: Ego Network Quality. In The Geography of Networks and R&D Collaborations; Scherngell, T., Ed.; Advances in Spatial Science; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2013; pp. 71–97 ISBN 9783319026985.

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
Luntz, S. Google Launches “Street View” Of Great Barrier Reef 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 Ready Reserve Force: Ship Readiness Has Improved, but Other Concerns Remain; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1994;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Peters, W.C. An Evaluation of the Relationship Between Critical Technology Developments and Technology Maturity. Doctoral dissertation, George Washington University: Washington, DC, 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
Kenigsberg, B. A Generous Peek Behind the Curtain. New York Times 2017, C4.

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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