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
Simmons RM. Prophets without honour? Nature 2000; 407: 839.
A journal article with 2 authors
Koechlin E, Hyafil A. Anterior prefrontal function and the limits of human decision-making. Science 2007; 318: 594–8.
A journal article with 3 authors
Burke M, Hsiang SM, Miguel E. Global non-linear effect of temperature on economic production. Nature 2015; 527: 235–9.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Huang E-W, Qiao J, Winiarski B, Lee W-J, Scheel M, Chuang C-P, et al. Microyielding of core-shell crystal dendrites in a bulk-metallic-glass matrix composite. Sci Rep 2014; 4: 4394.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Pérez A. Mobile Networks Architecture. Hoboken, NJ USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2013
An edited book
Barnes-Hoggett P. Flash 8 Essentials. Berkeley, CA: Apress; 2006
A chapter in an edited book
Grando MA, Moss L, Glasspool D, Sleeman D, Sim M, Gilhooly C, et al. Argumentation-Logic for Explaining Anomalous Patient Responses to Treatments. In: Peleg M, Lavrač N, Combi C, editor(s). Artificial Intelligence in Medicine: 13th Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, AIME 2011, Bled, Slovenia, July 2-6, 2011. Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2011. p. 35–44

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
Fang J. Killer Worm Sperm Stops Different Species From Breeding [Internet]. IFLScience 2014[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. Highway Trust Fund: Financial Condition as of September 30, 1997. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1998

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Goldberg DS. Poly (amido amine) dendrimers: Transepithelial transport mechanisms and applications in oral drug delivery. 2010

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
Kelly C. ‘The Only Girl in the Building’. New York Times 2016: AR8.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Simmons, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Simmons, 2000; Koechlin and Hyafil, 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Koechlin and Hyafil, 2007)
  • Three or more authors: (Huang et al., 2014)

About the journal

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

Other styles