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
Pockley, P. (2000). Australian jailed for removal of fossilized footprints. Nature, 404(6773), 4.
A journal article with 2 authors
Piskorowski, R., & Aldrich, R. W. (2002). Calcium activation of BK(Ca) potassium channels lacking the calcium bowl and RCK domains. Nature, 420(6915), 499–502.
A journal article with 3 authors
Tenenbaum, J. B., de Silva, V., & Langford, J. C. (2000). A global geometric framework for nonlinear dimensionality reduction. Science (New York, N.Y.), 290(5500), 2319–2323.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Tripp, T. M., Meiring, J. D., Prochaska, J. X., Willmer, C. N. A., Howk, J. C., Werk, J. K., Jenkins, E. B., Bowen, D. V., Lehner, N., Sembach, K. R., Thom, C., & Tumlinson, J. (2011). The hidden mass and large spatial extent of a post-starburst galaxy outflow. Science (New York, N.Y.), 334(6058), 952–955.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Kassapoglou, C. (2013). Design and Analysis of Composite Structures. John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
An edited book
Bischof, C., Hegering, H.-G., Nagel, W. E., & Wittum, G. (Eds.). (2012). Competence in High Performance Computing 2010: Proceedings of an International Conference on Competence in High Performance Computing, June 2010, Schloss Schwetzingen, Germany. Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Rohde, M., & Wulf, V. (2013). CSCL@Networking: Regional Learning in Software Industries. In S. P. Goggins, I. Jahnke, & V. Wulf (Eds.), Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning at the Workplace: CSCL@Work (pp. 65–87). Springer US.

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
Hale, T. (2016, May 27). Biologists Discover New “Silver Boa” Species Of Snake On Remote Caribbean Island. 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. (1990). Airline Competition: Impact of FAA Legislation on Passenger Facilities Charges and Trust Fund Spending (T-RCED-90-104). 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
Laird, E. C. (2012). Training social workers to use solution-focused interviewing with Child Protective Services clients: A grant proposal [Doctoral dissertation]. California State University, Long Beach.

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
St. John Kelly, E. (1994, August 7). PLAYING IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. New York Times, 1311.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Pockley, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Piskorowski & Aldrich, 2002; Pockley, 2000).

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

  • Two authors: (Piskorowski & Aldrich, 2002)
  • Three authors: (Tenenbaum et al., 2000)
  • 6 or more authors: (Tripp et al., 2011)

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

Other styles