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
Javitt, G. (2010). Which way for genetic-test regulation? Assign regulation appropriate to the level of risk. Nature, 466(7308), 817–818.
A journal article with 2 authors
Stewart, I., & Cohen, J. (2000). Monolith. Nature, 408(6815), 913.
A journal article with 3 authors
Hellberg, M. E., Balch, D. P., & Roy, K. (2001). Climate-driven range expansion and morphological evolution in a marine gastropod. Science (New York, N.Y.), 292(5522), 1707–1710.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Chugunov, A., Pyrkova, D., Nolde, D., Polyansky, A., Pentkovsky, V., & Efremov, R. (2013). Lipid-II forms potential “landing terrain” for lantibiotics in simulated bacterial membrane. Scientific Reports, 3, 1678.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Carroll, N. (2013). Minerva’s Night Out. Oxford: A John Wiley & Sons.
An edited book
Flower, D. R., & Perrie, Y. (Eds.). (2013). Immunomic Discovery of Adjuvants and Candidate Subunit Vaccines (Vol. 5). New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
McComas, W. F. (2014). Advance Organizers. In W. F. McComas (Ed.), The Language of Science Education: An Expanded Glossary of Key Terms and Concepts in Science Teaching and Learning (pp. 4–4). Rotterdam: SensePublishers.

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, D. (2016, October 24). Scientists Claim They’ve Solved What Makes The Bermuda Triangle So Deadly — But There’s A Problem. Retrieved October 30, 2018, from


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. (1995). [Comments on FAA Employee’s Claim for Temporary Quarters Subsistence Expenses] (No. B-257914). Washington, DC: 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
Blicha, E. A. (2015). Music therapy program for older adults: A grant proposal (Doctoral dissertation). California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

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
Saslow, L. (2005, December 11). Two Students Honored for Scientific Projects. New York Times, p. 14LI8.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Javitt, 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Javitt, 2010; Stewart & Cohen, 2000).

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

  • Two authors: (Stewart & Cohen, 2000)
  • Three authors: (Hellberg, Balch, & Roy, 2001)
  • 6 or more authors: (Chugunov 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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