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
Birkhead T: Stormy outlook for long-term ecology studies. Nature 2014, 514:405.
A journal article with 2 authors
Patel AD, Balaban E: Temporal patterns of human cortical activity reflect tone sequence structure. Nature 2000, 404:80–84.
A journal article with 3 authors
Benton MJ, Tverdokhlebov VP, Surkov MV: Ecosystem remodelling among vertebrates at the Permian-Triassic boundary in Russia. Nature 2004, 432:97–100.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Dalgarno SJ, Tucker SA, Bassil DB, Atwood JL: Fluorescent guest molecules report ordered inner phase of host capsules in solution. Science 2005, 309:2037–2039.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Daries H: Nutrition for Sport and Exercise. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.,; 2012.
An edited book
Blondel P: Buried Waste in the Seabed—Acoustic Imaging and Bio-toxicity: Results from the European SITAR Project. Springer; 2007.
A chapter in an edited book
Brown JJ, Glenn EP, Smith SE: Feasibility of Halophyte Domestication for High-Salinity Agriculture. In Sabkha Ecosystems: Volume IV: Cash Crop Halophyte and Biodiversity Conservation. Edited by Khan MA, Böer B, Öztürk M, Abdessalaam TZA, Clüsener-Godt M, Gul B. Springer Netherlands; 2014:73–80.

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: Four-Legged Snake Burrowed Around in Cretaceous Brazil. IFLScience 2015,


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: Project SAFECOM: Key Cross-Agency Emergency Communications Effort Requires Stronger Collaboration. U.S. Government Printing Office; 2004.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Lin H-C: Depression screening in ambulatory care. 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
(nyt) SK: World Briefing | Europe: Belarus: European Official Expelled. New York Times 2002,

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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