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
Pain, E. Science Careers. Sustaining Forests in a Changing World. Science 2008, 320, 1514–1517.
A journal article with 2 authors
Sheffield, M.E.J.; Dombeck, D.A. Calcium Transient Prevalence across the Dendritic Arbour Predicts Place Field Properties. Nature 2015, 517, 200–204.
A journal article with 3 authors
Martin, W.F.; Sousa, F.L.; Lane, N. Evolution. Energy at Life’s Origin. Science 2014, 344, 1092–1093.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Kraft, M.L.; Weber, P.K.; Longo, M.L.; Hutcheon, I.D.; Boxer, S.G. Phase Separation of Lipid Membranes Analyzed with High-Resolution Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry. Science 2006, 313, 1948–1951.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Simon, L.; Ospina, J. Closed-Form Solutions for Drug Transport through Controlled-Release Devices in Two and Three Dimensions; John Wiley & Sons, Inc: Hoboken, NJ, 2015; ISBN 9781119055976.
An edited book
Ohtsu, K. Time Series Modeling for Analysis and Control: Advanced Autopilot and Monitoring Systems; Peng, H., Kitagawa, G., Eds.; SpringerBriefs in Statistics; Springer Japan: Tokyo, 2015; ISBN 9784431553021.
A chapter in an edited book
Piaia, G. The General Histories of Philosophy in Italy in the Late Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Century. In Models of the History of Philosophy: Volume II: From Cartesian Age to Brucker; Santinello, G., Piaia, G., Eds.; International Archives of the History of Ideas / Archives internationales d’histoire des idées; Springer Netherlands: Dordrecht, 2011; pp. 213–297 ISBN 9789048195060.

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
Andrews, R. Watch A River Full Of Methane Get Set On Fire 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 Aviation Security: Private Screening Contractors Have Little Flexibility to Implement Innovative Approaches; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 2004;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Dooling, S.M. Like A Unicorn in Captivity. Doctoral dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park: College Park, MD, 2013.

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
Cooper, M. Lincoln Center Festival Director to Step Down. New York Times 2017, C3.

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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