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
Klug, D. D. (2001). Thermodynamics. Glassy Water. Science (New York, N.Y.), 294(5550), 2305–2306.
A journal article with 2 authors
Brédas, J.-L., & Silbey, R. (2009). Chemistry. Excitons surf along conjugated polymer chains. Science (New York, N.Y.), 323(5912), 348–349.
A journal article with 3 authors
Martin, A., Baker, T. A., & Sauer, R. T. (2005). Rebuilt AAA + motors reveal operating principles for ATP-fuelled machines. Nature, 437(7062), 1115–1120.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Neuner, J., Filser, S., Michalakis, S., Biel, M., & Herms, J. (2014). A30P α-Synuclein interferes with the stable integration of adult-born neurons into the olfactory network. Scientific Reports, 4, 3931.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Dexter, A. L. (2012). Monitoring and Control of Information-Poor Systems. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Tarté, R. (Ed.). (2009). Ingredients in Meat Products: Properties, Functionality and Applications. Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Lesiv, M., Bun, A., & Jonas, M. (2015). Analysis of change in relative uncertainty in GHG emissions from stationary sources for the EU 15. In J. P. Ometto, R. Bun, M. Jonas, & Z. Nahorski (Eds.), Uncertainties in Greenhouse Gas Inventories: Expanding Our Perspective (pp. 55–68). 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 Brain and Language.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2015, October 27). Regrowing Limbs: Fossils Reveal Ancient Secrets Of Salamander Ancestors. 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. (2006). FAA’s Proposed Plan for Implementing a Reliability Centered Maintenance Process for Air Traffic Control Equipment (GAO-07-81R). 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
Mehmeti, A. (2010). Intensive dramaturgical research facilitated the creation of the character Soran Saleen in “The Poetry of Pizza” [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
Wagner, J. (2017, July 25). Kershaw Could Be Out as Long as Six Weeks. New York Times, B12.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Klug, 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Brédas & Silbey, 2009; Klug, 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Brédas & Silbey, 2009)
  • Three authors: (Martin et al., 2005)
  • 6 or more authors: (Neuner et al., 2014)

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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