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
McDowell, G. Why not have a life? Science 2015, 349, 554.
A journal article with 2 authors
Casavecchia, P.; Alexander, M.H. Chemistry. Uncloaking the quantum nature of inelastic molecular collisions. Science 2013, 341, 1076–1077.
A journal article with 3 authors
Tilmann, F.; Ni, J.; INDEPTH III Seismic Team Seismic imaging of the downwelling Indian lithosphere beneath central Tibet. Science 2003, 300, 1424–1427.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Funder, S.; Goosse, H.; Jepsen, H.; Kaas, E.; Kjær, K.H.; Korsgaard, N.J.; Larsen, N.K.; Linderson, H.; Lyså, A.; Möller, P.; et al. A 10,000-year record of Arctic Ocean sea-ice variability--view from the beach. Science 2011, 333, 747–750.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Good, P.I. Introduction to Statistics through Resampling Methods and R/S-Plus®; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ, 2005; ISBN 9780471722502.
An edited book
Tolle, L.W. Improving the Quality of Child Custody Evaluations: A Systematic Model; O’Donohue, W.T., Ed.; Springer: New York, NY, 2012; ISBN 9781461434047.
A chapter in an edited book
Eichel, J.A.; Bizheva, K.K.; Clausi, D.A.; Fieguth, P.W. Automated 3D Reconstruction and Segmentation from Optical Coherence Tomography. In Computer Vision – ECCV 2010: 11th European Conference on Computer Vision, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, September 5-11, 2010, Proceedings, Part III; Daniilidis, K., Maragos, P., Paragios, N., Eds.; Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2010; pp. 44–57 ISBN 9783642155574.

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. New York State has Banned Fracking 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 National Aeronautical Facilities Program: Issues Related to Its Cost and Need; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1976;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Gomes, S. The Lanterman-Petris-Short Act and the effects of deinstitutionalization on the mentally ill. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach: Long Beach, CA, 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
Dominus, S. Something Was Wrong. New York Times 2016, BR12.

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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