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
H.C. Muller-Landau, Ecology: plant diversity rooted in pathogens, Nature. 506 (2014) 44–45.
A journal article with 2 authors
C. Hillaire-Marcel, A. de Vernal, Comment on “Mixed-layer deepening during Heinrich events: a multi-planktonic foraminiferal delta18O approach,” Science. 320 (2008) 1161; author reply 1161.
A journal article with 3 authors
A.V. Biankin, S. Piantadosi, S.J. Hollingsworth, Patient-centric trials for therapeutic development in precision oncology, Nature. 526 (2015) 361–370.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Y.-L. Zhang, H. Wang, L. Jing, L.-Z. Mu, H. Fan, Fitting magnetic field gradient with Heisenberg-scaling accuracy, Sci. Rep. 4 (2014) 7390.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
J.-M. Noyer, Transformation of Collective Intelligences, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2016.
An edited book
E.L. Bourg, S.I.S. Rattan, eds., Mild Stress and Healthy Aging: Applying Hormesis in Aging Research and Interventions, Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, 2008.
A chapter in an edited book
H.G. Dietz, B.D. Young, MIMD Interpretation on a GPU, in: G.R. Gao, L.L. Pollock, J. Cavazos, X. Li (Eds.), Languages and Compilers for Parallel Computing: 22nd International Workshop, LCPC 2009, Newark, DE, USA, October 8-10, 2009, Revised Selected Papers, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2010: pp. 65–79.

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
J. Davis, The Builders Of Stonehenge Feasted On Barbecue Beef And Pork, IFLScience. (2015). (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, Findings on Current AFDC Work Programs and Implications for Pending Legislation, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1987.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
E.A. Blicha, Music therapy program for older adults: A grant proposal, Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, 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
M.K. Schilling, The Look of ’70s SoHo — Captured in One Apartment, New York Times. (2017) M2240.

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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