How to format your references using the Brain citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Brain. 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
Cook DJ. Computer science. How smart is your home? Science 2012; 335: 1579–1581.
A journal article with 2 authors
Mastrandrea MD, Schneider SH. Probabilistic integrated assessment of ‘dangerous’ climate change. Science 2004; 304: 571–575.
A journal article with 3 authors
Falenty A, Hansen TC, Kuhs WF. Formation and properties of ice XVI obtained by emptying a type sII clathrate hydrate. Nature 2014; 516: 231–233.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Hole DG, Whittingham MJ, Bradbury RB, Anderson GQA, Lee PLM, Wilson JD, et al. Widespread local house-sparrow extinctions. Nature 2002; 418: 931–932.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Negre E. Information and Recommender Systems. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2015
An edited book
Law and the Transition to Business Sustainability. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2014
A chapter in an edited book
Msadek N, Kiefhaber R, Fechner B, Ungerer T. Trust-Enhanced Self-configuration for Organic Computing Systems. In: Maehle E, Römer K, Karl W, Tovar E, editor(s). Architecture of Computing Systems – ARCS 2014: 27th International Conference, Lübeck, Germany, February 25-28, 2014. Proceedings. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2014. p. 37–48

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.

Blog post
Hale T. Boaty McBoatface Will NOT Be The Name Of This New Polar Research Ship [Internet]. IFLScience 2016[cited 2018 Oct 30] Available from:


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. Rail Transit: Observations on FTA’s State Safety Oversight Program and Potential Change in Its Oversight Role. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2009

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Cannon JR. Microwave-supported acid hydrolysis for proteomics. 2012

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
Kenigsberg B. Film Series. New York Times 2017: C18.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Cook, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Mastrandrea and Schneider, 2004; Cook, 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Mastrandrea and Schneider, 2004)
  • Three or more authors: (Hole et al., 2002)

About the journal

Full journal titleBrain
ISSN (print)0006-8950
ISSN (online)1460-2156
ScopeClinical Neurology

Other styles