How to format your references using the Prevention Science citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Prevention Science. 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
Willyard, C. (2014). Risk factors: riddle of the rays. Nature, 515(7527), S112-3.
A journal article with 2 authors
Elowitz, M., & Lim, W. A. (2010). Build life to understand it. Nature, 468(7326), 889–890.
A journal article with 3 authors
Dvorak, M., Oswald, W., & Wu, Z. (2013). Bandgap opening by patterning graphene. Scientific reports, 3, 2289.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Jiang, H., Wei, Z., Nachman, R. J., Adams, M. E., & Park, Y. (2014). Functional phylogenetics reveals contributions of pleiotropic peptide action to ligand-receptor coevolution. Scientific reports, 4, 6800.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Grinshpan, L. (2012). Solving Enterprise Applications Performance Puzzles. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Schumann, A. H. (Ed.). (2011). Flood Risk Assessment and Management: How to Specify Hydrological Loads, Their Consequences and Uncertainties. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Martin, D., Rouncefield, M., & Sharrock, W. (2007). Complex Organisational Responsibilities: The Ladbroke Grove Rail Inquiry. In G. Dewsbury & J. Dobson (Eds.), Responsibility and Dependable Systems (pp. 66–87). London: Springer.

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 Prevention Science.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2014, August 4). Doctors Bow After 11-Year-Old Brain Tumor Patient Donates Organs. IFLScience. IFLScience. Accessed 30 October 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. (1998). Social Security Administration: Information Technology Challenges Facing the Commissioner (No. T-AIMD-98-109). 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
Child, R. J. (2013). The evolution of BARREN INFLORESCENCE1 and related AUX/IAA genes in angiosperms (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
Koblin, J. (2016, August 8). Before Taking Shows to Audiences, Networks Try to Win Over Critics. New York Times, p. B4.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Willyard 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Elowitz and Lim 2010; Willyard 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Elowitz and Lim 2010)
  • Three or more authors: (Jiang et al. 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titlePrevention Science
AbbreviationPrev. Sci.
ISSN (print)1389-4986
ISSN (online)1573-6695
ScopePublic Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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