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
Milburn GJ. Physics. Demonstrating uncertainty. Science 2013; 339: 770–771.
A journal article with 2 authors
Hoffmann AA, Sgrò CM. Climate change and evolutionary adaptation. Nature 2011; 470: 479–485.
A journal article with 3 authors
Domínguez-García V, Pigolotti S, Muñoz MA. Inherent directionality explains the lack of feedback loops in empirical networks. Sci Rep 2014; 4: 7497.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Alley RB, Horgan HJ, Joughin I, Cuffey KM, Dupont TK, Parizek BR, et al. A simple law for ice-shelf calving. Science 2008; 322: 1344.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lamperti JW. Probability: A Survey of the Mathematical Theory. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 1996
An edited book
Gettelman A. Demystifying Climate Models: A Users Guide to Earth System Models. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2016
A chapter in an edited book
Libkin L. Logics for Unranked Trees: An Overview. In: Caires L, Italiano GF, Monteiro L, Palamidessi C, Yung M, editor(s). Automata, Languages and Programming: 32nd International Colloquium, ICALP 2005, Lisbon, Portugal, July 11-15, 2005. Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2005. p. 35–50

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 E. Genetically Engineered Bacteria Could Help Tackle Obesity [Internet]. IFLScience 2015[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. Follow-up Review of the IR Maverick Program. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1983

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Runyan TE. A Machine Learning Approach to Quantifying Likely Locations of Gas and Gas Hydrate Accumulation. 2017

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
Brantley B. They Sing and Dance, but This Isn’t “La La Land’. New York Times 2017: C5.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Milburn, 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Hoffmann and Sgrò, 2011; Milburn, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Hoffmann and Sgrò, 2011)
  • Three or more authors: (Alley et al., 2008)

About the journal

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

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