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
Pourquié O: The segmentation clock: converting embryonic time into spatial pattern. Science 2003, 301:328–330.
A journal article with 2 authors
Krupovic M, Bamford DH: Virology. Revealing virus-host interplay. Science 2011, 333:45–46.
A journal article with 3 authors
Khor B, Gardet A, Xavier RJ: Genetics and pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease. Nature 2011, 474:307–317.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Fike DA, Grotzinger JP, Pratt LM, Summons RE: Oxidation of the Ediacaran ocean. Nature 2006, 444:744–747.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Good PI: Introduction to Statistics Through Resampling Methods and R. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2013.
An edited book
Jolly A, Sussman RW, Koyama N, Rasamimanana H (Eds): Ringtailed Lemur Biology: Lemur Catta in Madagascar. Springer US; 2006.
A chapter in an edited book
Burney T, Lock P: Measuring Game-Play Performance and Perceived Immersion in a Domed Planetarium Projection Environment. In Entertainment Computing – ICEC 2007: 6th International Conference, Shanghai, China, September 15-17, 2007. Proceedings. Edited by Ma L, Rauterberg M, Nakatsu R. Springer; 2007:22–27.

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
Luntz S: Hikers Caught In Volcanic Eruption Capture Moment On Camera. 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: Information on the National School Safety Center. U.S. Government Printing Office; 1985.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Tuinenga JM: John Corigliano’s Sonata for violin and piano: An analysis of context, structure, and style. 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
Pilon M: Fighter Who Faked Death Is Sent to Prison for Robbery. New York Times 2013,

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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