How to format your references using the Patient Education and Counseling citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Patient Education and Counseling. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
T.-P. Sun, Plant Science. Sex and the single fern, Science. 346 (2014) 423–424.
A journal article with 2 authors
C.J. Doherty, S.A. Kay, Circadian surprise--it’s not all about transcription, Science. 338 (2012) 338–340.
A journal article with 3 authors
C.A. MacAlister, K. Ohashi-Ito, D.C. Bergmann, Transcription factor control of asymmetric cell divisions that establish the stomatal lineage, Nature. 445 (2007) 537–540.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
M. Springmann, M. Clark, D. Mason-D’Croz, K. Wiebe, B.L. Bodirsky, L. Lassaletta, W. de Vries, S.J. Vermeulen, M. Herrero, K.M. Carlson, M. Jonell, M. Troell, F. DeClerck, L.J. Gordon, R. Zurayk, P. Scarborough, M. Rayner, B. Loken, J. Fanzo, H.C.J. Godfray, D. Tilman, J. Rockström, W. Willett, Options for keeping the food system within environmental limits, Nature. 562 (2018) 519–525.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
E. Pasher, T. Ronen, The Complete Guide to Knowledge Management, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2011.
An edited book
J.G. Anderson, C.E. Aydin, eds., Evaluating the Organizational Impact of Healthcare Information Systems, Second Edition, Springer, New York, NY, 2005.
A chapter in an edited book
E. Bertino, L.D. Martino, F. Paci, A.C. Squicciarini, Standards for Web Services Security, in: L. Martino, F. Paci, A. Squicciarini (Eds.), Security for Web Services and Service-Oriented Architectures, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2010: pp. 45–77.

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 Patient Education and Counseling.

Blog post
K. Evans, The World is Facing A Sixth Mass Extinction And It’s Because Of Us, IFLScience. (2017). (accessed October 30, 2018).


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, Polar Satellites: Agencies Need to Address Potential Gaps in Weather and Climate Data Coverage, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2011.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
F.K. Khaleghi, Evaluating Satisfaction of Participants within the Outreach and Engagement Program of MECCA, Doctoral dissertation, Pepperdine University, 2017.

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
G. Vecsey, Mets Trot Out Reliever Of Last Resort, New York Times. (2010) B9.

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 titlePatient Education and Counseling
AbbreviationPatient Educ. Couns.
ISSN (print)0738-3991
ScopeGeneral Medicine

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