How to format your references using the Brain and Language citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Brain and Language. 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
Butler, D. (2001). Bioinformatics to be nurtured online. Nature, 411(6837), 513.
A journal article with 2 authors
Semmelhack, J. L., & Wang, J. W. (2009). Select Drosophila glomeruli mediate innate olfactory attraction and aversion. Nature, 459(7244), 218–223.
A journal article with 3 authors
Thorpe, S. K. S., Holder, R. L., & Crompton, R. H. (2007). Origin of human bipedalism as an adaptation for locomotion on flexible branches. Science (New York, N.Y.), 316(5829), 1328–1331.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Ma, D. D. D., Lee, C. S., Au, F. C. K., Tong, S. Y., & Lee, S. T. (2003). Small-diameter silicon nanowire surfaces. Science (New York, N.Y.), 299(5614), 1874–1877.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ahonen, T. T. (2006). m-Profits. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Ng, C.-H. C., Fox, R., & Nakano, M. (Eds.). (2016). Reforming Learning and Teaching in Asia-Pacific Universities: Influences of Globalised Processes in Japan, Hong Kong and Australia (Vol. 33). Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Goertzel, B., Geisweiller, N., Coelho, L., Janicic, P., & Pennachin, C. (2011). Temporal Reasoning. In N. Geisweiller, L. Coelho, P. Janičić, & C. Pennachin (Eds.), Real-World Reasoning: Toward Scalable, Uncertain Spatiotemporal, Contextual and Causal Inference (pp. 79–97). Atlantis Press.

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 Brain and Language.

Blog post
Davis, J. (2015, June 29). Where Have All Earth’s Impact Craters Gone? IFLScience; IFLScience.


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. (1997). High-Risk Series: Student Financial Aid (HR-97-11). 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
Blumenfeld, D. B. (2015). Policy Making and the U.S. Response to Global HIV/AIDS [Doctoral dissertation]. George Washington University.

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
Johnson, G. (2014, March 18). A Tumor, the Embryo’s Evil Twin. New York Times, D5.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Butler, 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Butler, 2001; Semmelhack & Wang, 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Semmelhack & Wang, 2009)
  • Three authors: (Thorpe et al., 2007)
  • 6 or more authors: (Ma et al., 2003)

About the journal

Full journal titleBrain and Language
AbbreviationBrain Lang.
ISSN (print)0093-934X
ScopeLanguage and Linguistics
Cognitive Neuroscience
Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
Linguistics and Language
Speech and Hearing

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