How to format your references using the Families, Systems, & Health citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Families, Systems, & Health. 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
Kidd, T. (2009). Neuroscience. Crossing the line. Science (New York, N.Y.), 324(5929), 893–894.
A journal article with 2 authors
Roediger, H. L., 3rd, & McDermott, K. B. (2011). Neuroscience. Remember when? Science (New York, N.Y.), 333(6038), 47–48.
A journal article with 3 authors
Horne-Badovinac, S., Rebagliati, M., & Stainier, D. Y. R. (2003). A cellular framework for gut-looping morphogenesis in zebrafish. Science (New York, N.Y.), 302(5645), 662–665.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Parnell, J., Boyce, A. J., Hurst, A., Davidheiser-Kroll, B., & Ponicka, J. (2013). Long term geological record of a global deep subsurface microbial habitat in sand injection complexes. Scientific Reports, 3, 1828.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Leddra, M. (2010). Time Matters. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Vashchenko, V. A. (2008). Physical Limitations of Semiconductor Devices (V. F. Sinkevitch, Ed.). Springer US.
A chapter in an edited book
Rotilio, M., De Berardinis, P., & Cucchiella, F. (2015). Renewable Energy Sources in Minor Historical Centers. New Scenarios of Sustainable Development of the Territory. In F. Cucchiella & L. Koh (Eds.), Sustainable Future Energy Technology and Supply Chains: A Multi-perspective Analysis (pp. 75–106). Springer International Publishing.

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 Families, Systems, & Health.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2015, May 29). Coffee Lovers Beware: Climate Change May Affect Your Brew. IFLScience; IFLScience.


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. (1988). Aviation Services: Automation and Consolidation of Flight Service Stations (RCED-88-77). U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Ward, S. (2009). Historiography, prophecy, and literature: “Divina retribución” and its underlying ideological agenda [Doctoral dissertation]. Indiana University.

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
Vecsey, G. (2010, November 9). U.S. Loss Reveals a Shrinking Talent Gap. New York Times, B13.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Kidd, 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Kidd, 2009; Roediger & McDermott, 2011).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Roediger & McDermott, 2011)
  • Three authors: (Horne-Badovinac et al., 2003)
  • 6 or more authors: (Parnell et al., 2013)

About the journal

Full journal titleFamilies, Systems, & Health
AbbreviationFam. Syst. Health
ISSN (print)1091-7527
ISSN (online)1939-0602
ScopePsychiatry and Mental health
Applied Psychology

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