How to format your references using the Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Current Opinion in 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
Mooijaart S: Scientists and societies. Young genomicists get connected. Nature 2004, 429:226.
A journal article with 2 authors
Pardo M, Nurse P: Equatorial retention of the contractile actin ring by microtubules during cytokinesis. Science 2003, 300:1569–1574.
A journal article with 3 authors
Melton C, Judson RL, Blelloch R: Opposing microRNA families regulate self-renewal in mouse embryonic stem cells. Nature 2010, 463:621–626.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Lu C, Hu X, Yang H, Gong Q: Integrated all-optical logic discriminators based on plasmonic bandgap engineering. Sci Rep 2013, 3:2778.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Davis JH: Statistics for Compensation. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2011.
An edited book
Egyed A, Schaefer I (Eds): Fundamental Approaches to Software Engineering: 18th International Conference, FASE 2015, Held as Part of the European Joint Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software, ETAPS 2015, London, UK, April 11-18, 2015, Proceedings. Springer; 2015.
A chapter in an edited book
Rehm G, Uszkoreit H: Jazykové Technológie Na Podporu Slovenčiny. In The Slovak Language in the Digital Age. Edited by Rehm G, Uszkoreit H. Springer; 2012:17–36.

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 Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences.

Blog post
Fang J: Oldest Human Genome Sequenced Reveals Neanderthal Mixing. IFLScience 2014,


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: Regulatory Flexibility in Schools: What Happens When Schools Are Allowed to Change the Rules? U.S. Government Printing Office; 1994.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Stahl-Kovell DW: Reimagining red power: Native American community, activism, and academics in postwar America. 2014,

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
Brantley B: A Darwinian Revival With a Feminist Streak. New York Times 2016,

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 titleCurrent Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
AbbreviationCurr. Opin. Behav. Sci.
ISSN (print)2352-1546

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