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
Arneth, A. (2015). Climate science: Uncertain future for vegetation cover. Nature, 524(7563), 44–45.
A journal article with 2 authors
Cincotta, R. P., & Crane, B. B. (2001). Public health. The Mexico City policy and U.S. family planning assistance. Science (New York, N.Y.), 294(5542), 525–526.
A journal article with 3 authors
Choudhary, A., Kohar, V., & Sinha, S. (2014). Taming explosive growth through dynamic random links. Scientific Reports, 4, 4308.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Mattingley, J. B., Rich, A. N., Yelland, G., & Bradshaw, J. L. (2001). Unconscious priming eliminates automatic binding of colour and alphanumeric form in synaesthesia. Nature, 410(6828), 580–582.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Das, J. C. (2017). Understanding Symmetrical Components for Power System Modeling. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Valk, P. E., Delbeke, D., Bailey, D. L., Townsend, D. W., & Maisey, M. N. (Eds.). (2006). Positron Emission Tomography: Clinical Practice. Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Palas Nogueira, J., & de Sá-Soares, F. (2012). Trust in e-Voting Systems: A Case Study. In H. Rahman, A. Mesquita, I. Ramos, & B. Pernici (Eds.), Knowledge and Technologies in Innovative Information Systems: 7th Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems, MCIS 2012, Guimaraes, Portugal, September 8-10, 2012. Proceedings (pp. 51–66). 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 Brain and Language.

Blog post
Andrew, D. (2015, August 19). Blue Whale Interrupts Presenter’s Complaint About How Hard It Is To Find Blue Whales. 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. (1976). Career Education: Status and Needed Improvements (MWD-76-81). 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
Garcia, M. (2009). Perception of Latino students by teachers and counselors in the educational system [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
(nyt), S. K. (2001, October 16). World Briefing | Outer Space: Workout For Spacewalkers. New York Times, A14.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Arneth, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Arneth, 2015; Cincotta & Crane, 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Cincotta & Crane, 2001)
  • Three authors: (Choudhary et al., 2014)
  • 6 or more authors: (Mattingley et al., 2001)

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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