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
Hentze MW. Protein synthesis. Believe it or not-translation in the nucleus. Science 2001; 293: 1058–1059.
A journal article with 2 authors
Higgins CF, Linton KJ. Structural biology. The xyz of ABC transporters. Science 2001; 293: 1782–1784.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ashton A, Murray AB, Arnault O. Formation of coastline features by large-scale instabilities induced by high-angle waves. Nature 2001; 414: 296–300.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Dinse HR, Ragert P, Pleger B, Schwenkreis P, Tegenthoff M. Pharmacological modulation of perceptual learning and associated cortical reorganization. Science 2003; 301: 91–94.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Stokes DJ. Principles and Practice of Variable Pressure/Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy (VP-ESEM). Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2008
An edited book
Hoskins BL. Study of Movement Speeds Down Stairs. New York, NY: Springer; 2013
A chapter in an edited book
Acker JF, Berkels B, Bredies K, Diallo MS, Droske M, Garbe CS, et al. Inverse Problems and Parameter Identification in Image Processing. In: Dahlhaus R, Kurths J, Maass P, Timmer J, editor(s). Mathematical Methods in Signal Processing and Digital Image Analysis. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2008. p. 111–151

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. Pink Slime Doesn’t Share Its Potato With Other Microbes [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. Year 2000 Computing Challenge: Readiness Improving, But Critical Risks Remain. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1999

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Gullion DK. The study of interstate and intrastate mobility effects on student achievement. 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
Eder S, Silver-Greenberg J, Cowley S. Watchdog Targeted as an Obama-Era Holdover. New York Times 2017: A1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Hentze, 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Hentze, 2001; Higgins and Linton, 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Higgins and Linton, 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Dinse et al., 2003)

About the journal

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

Other styles