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
I. Giomataris, Georges Charpak (1924-2010), Nature. 467 (2010) 1048.
A journal article with 2 authors
E.R. Wahl, C. Morrill, Climate change. Toward understanding and predicting monsoon patterns, Science. 328 (2010) 437–438.
A journal article with 3 authors
F.E. Mayle, R. Burbridge, T.J. Killeen, Millennial-scale dynamics of southern Amazonian rain forests, Science. 290 (2000) 2291–2294.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Y.-M. Jiang, K.-X. Wang, H.-J. Zhang, J.-F. Wang, J.-S. Chen, Hierarchical Li4Ti5O12/TiO2 composite tubes with regular structural imperfection for lithium ion storage, Sci. Rep. 3 (2013) 3490.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
D. Bradley, Managing Minor Musculoskeletal Injuries and Conditions, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2015.
An edited book
J.M. Rippe, ed., Fructose, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sucrose and Health, Springer, New York, NY, 2014.
A chapter in an edited book
D.K. Bora, A. Braun, K. Gajda-Schrantz, Solar Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting with Bioconjugate and Bio-Hybrid Electrodes, in: E.A. Rozhkova, K. Ariga (Eds.), From Molecules to Materials: Pathways to Artificial Photosynthesis, Springer International Publishing, Cham, 2015: pp. 125–147.

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
E. Andrew, Mysterious X-Rays Could Mark Enormous Star Graveyard Surrounding Our Galaxy’s Supermassive Black Hole, 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, European Aeronautics: Strong Government Presence in Industry Structure and Research and Development Support, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1994.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
A.V. Steers, Releasing from the inside out: The development of the role of Helene in “Festen,” Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, 2010.

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. Pilon, Anger and Indifference After a School Ends a Full-Contact Tradition, New York Times. (2013) D2.

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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