How to format your references using the The Behavior Analyst citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for The Behavior Analyst. 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
Ledford, H. (2007). Minimum telomere length defined for healthy cells. Nature, 449(7162), 515.
A journal article with 2 authors
Dong, R.-Y., & Cao, B.-Y. (2014). Anomalous orientations of a rigid carbon nanotube in a sheared fluid. Scientific reports, 4, 6120.
A journal article with 3 authors
Buck, W. R., Lavier, L. L., & Poliakov, A. N. B. (2005). Modes of faulting at mid-ocean ridges. Nature, 434(7034), 719–723.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Rodríguez, J., Tintoré, J., Allen, J. T., Blanco, J. M., Gomis, D., Reul, A., et al. (2001). Mesoscale vertical motion and the size structure of phytoplankton in the ocean. Nature, 410(6826), 360–363.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Mitra, A. (2008). Fundamentals of Quality Control and Improvement. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Baets, W. (Ed.). (2005). Knowledge Management and Management Learning: Extending the Horizons of Knowledge-Based Management (Vol. 9). Boston, MA: Springer US.
A chapter in an edited book
Sanders, C. J. (2016). Toward an Aesthetics of Engagement. In V. Dickerson (Ed.), Poststructural and Narrative Thinking in Family Therapy (pp. 61–81). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

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 The Behavior Analyst.

Blog post
Andrew, D. (2016, September 16). Babies Cry In The Womb And 18 Other Surprising Facts I Learned When I Became A Dad. 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. (1993). Space Operations: Archiving Space Science Data Needs Further Management Improvements (No. NSIAD-94-25). 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
Wuite, J. (2006). Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Three East Antarctic Outlet Glaciers and Their Floating Ice Tongues (Doctoral dissertation). Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.

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
Kelly, M. (1993, May 28). What Price Beauty? Oh, Say $2,000 or So. New York Times, p. A15.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Ledford 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Dong and Cao 2014; Ledford 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Dong and Cao 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Rodríguez et al. 2001)

About the journal

Full journal titleThe Behavior Analyst
AbbreviationBehav. Anal.
ISSN (print)0738-6729
ISSN (online)2196-8918
ScopeClinical Psychology
Social Psychology

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