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
Sharkey N. Computer science. The ethical frontiers of robotics. Science 2008; 322: 1800–1.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ryan AJ, Christensen PR. Coils and polygonal crust in the Athabasca Valles region, Mars, as evidence for a volcanic history. Science 2012; 336: 449–52.
A journal article with 3 authors
Yu DYW, Hoster HE, Batabyal SK. Bulk antimony sulfide with excellent cycle stability as next-generation anode for lithium-ion batteries. Sci Rep 2014; 4: 4562.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Lilliu S, Maragliano C, Hampton M, Elliott M, Stefancich M, Chiesa M, et al. EFM data mapped into 2D images of tip-sample contact potential difference and capacitance second derivative. Sci Rep 2013; 3: 3352.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Anichini G, Carraro F, Geslin P, Guille-Escuret G. Technicity vs Scientificity. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2017
An edited book
Mechanics of Anisotropic Materials. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2015
A chapter in an edited book
Saran A, Serviere L, Kalliny M, Minor MS. Desire for Visual Aesthetics (DVA) in the Store Environment: Concept and Measurement. In: Spotts HE, editor(s). Revolution in Marketing: Market Driving Changes: Proceedings of the 2006 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Annual Conference. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2015. p. 4–4

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
Andrew D. Here Are The Last Photos A Star-Crossed Robot Took Before Killing Itself On A Comet [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. Information Technology: Immigration and Customs Enforcement Needs to Fully Address Significant Infrastructure Modernization Program Management Weaknesses. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2007

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Brigida MD. Target stock price runup prior to acquisitions. 2009

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
Stewart JB. Questions of Judgment Engulf Barclays’ Chief. New York Times 2017: B1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Sharkey, 2008).
This sentence cites two references (Sharkey, 2008; Ryan and Christensen, 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Ryan and Christensen, 2012)
  • Three or more authors: (Lilliu et al., 2013)

About the journal

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

Other styles