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
Willyard C. Risk factors: riddle of the rays. Nature 2014; 515: S112-3.
A journal article with 2 authors
Yin YW, Steitz TA. Structural basis for the transition from initiation to elongation transcription in T7 RNA polymerase. Science 2002; 298: 1387–95.
A journal article with 3 authors
Thakur G, Prashanthi K, Thundat T. Directed self-assembly of proteins into discrete radial patterns. Sci Rep 2013; 3: 1923.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Setou M, Seog D-H, Tanaka Y, Kanai Y, Takei Y, Kawagishi M, et al. Glutamate-receptor-interacting protein GRIP1 directly steers kinesin to dendrites. Nature 2002; 417: 83–7.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Kim Y-H. Sound Propagation. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2010
An edited book
Software Tools and Algorithms for Biological Systems. New York, NY: Springer; 2011
A chapter in an edited book
Kohn LAP, Bledsoe Z. Genetic and Social Group Influences on Postcranial Morphology in Rhesus Macaques of Cayo Santiago. In: Wang Q, editor(s). Bones, Genetics, and Behavior of Rhesus Macaques: Macaca Mulatta of Cayo Santiago and Beyond. New York, NY: Springer; 2012. p. 117–29

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
Davis J. Ancient Cave Art Records Fascinating Evolution Of European Bison [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 Management: Census Bureau Has Implemented Many Key Practices, but Additional Actions Are Needed. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2005

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Paik Y. Redefining multidisciplinary teams: An institutional approach. 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
Eligon J, Smith M. Woman Shot by Minneapolis Officer ‘Didn’t Have to Die,’ Police Chief Says. New York Times 2017: A13.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Willyard, 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Yin and Steitz, 2002; Willyard, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Yin and Steitz, 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Setou et al., 2002)

About the journal

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

Other styles