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
Kociak M: Microscopy: Quantum control of free electrons. Nature 2015, 521:166–167.
A journal article with 2 authors
Wang Y, Dohlman HG: Pheromone signaling mechanisms in yeast: a prototypical sex machine. Science 2004, 306:1508–1509.
A journal article with 3 authors
Bizzarro M, Baker JA, Haack H: Mg isotope evidence for contemporaneous formation of chondrules and refractory inclusions. Nature 2004, 431:275–278.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Xu W, Chen H, Du K, Asahara H, Tini M, Emerson BM, Montminy M, Evans RM: A transcriptional switch mediated by cofactor methylation. Science 2001, 294:2507–2511.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Barbosa P, Berry DL, Kary CS: Insect Histology. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2014.
An edited book
Hayat MA (Ed): Tumors of the Central Nervous System, Volume 8: Astrocytoma, Medulloblastoma, Retinoblastoma, Chordoma, Craniopharyngioma, Oligodendroglioma, and Ependymoma. Springer Netherlands; 2012.
A chapter in an edited book
Williams JS, de M. Azevedo G, Bernas H, Fortuna F: Ion-Beam-Induced Amorphization and Epitaxial Crystallization of Silicon. In Materials Science with Ion Beams. Edited by Bernas H. Springer; 2010:73–111.

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
Andrew E: Blood Donors In Sweden Get A Text Whenever They Save A Life. 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: Bureau of Indian Education: Improving Interior’s Assistance Would Aid Tribal Groups Developing Academic Accountability Systems. U.S. Government Printing Office; 2008.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Barnard S: Police officers’ attitudes about rape victims. 2015,

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
Billard M: His Runway Has a Backbeat. 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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