How to format your references using the Cerebral Cortex citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Cerebral Cortex. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Zhang W. 2014. Voltage-driven spintronic logic gates in graphene nanoribbons. Sci Rep. 4:6320.
A journal article with 2 authors
Richerson PJ, Boyd R. 2008. Migration: an engine for social change. Nature. 456:877.
A journal article with 3 authors
Priola SA, Chesebro B, Caughey B. 2003. Biomedicine. A view from the top--prion diseases from 10,000 feet. Science. 300:917–919.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Xu C-X, Zheng Y-X, Zheng X-H, Hu Q, Zhao Y, Ji L-N, Mao Z-W. 2013. V-shaped dinuclear Pt(II) complexes: selective interaction with human telomeric G-quadruplex and significant inhibition towards telomerase. Sci Rep. 3:2060.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chan NH. 2010. Time Series: Applications to Finance with R and S-Plus®, Wiley Series in Probability and Statistics. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Shishkov B (Ed.). 2013. Business Modeling and Software Design: Second International Symposium, BMSD 2012, Geneva, Switzerland, July 4-6, 2012, Revised Selected Papers, Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Connor R, Vadicamo L, Cardillo FA, Rabitti F. 2016. Supermetric Search with the Four-Point Property. In: Amsaleg L,, Houle ME,, Schubert E, editors. Similarity Search and Applications: 9th International Conference, SISAP 2016, Tokyo, Japan, October 24-26, 2016, Proceedings. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Cham: Springer International Publishing. p. 51–64.

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 Cerebral Cortex.

Blog post
Andrew D. 2016. How Science Can Help Us Make AI Less Creepy And More Trustworthy [WWW Document]. IFLScience. URL


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. 2003. Applying Agreed-Upon Procedures: Airport and Airway Trust Fund Excise Taxes ( No. GAO-04-214R). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Sundell M. 2009. From fine art to fashion: Man Ray’s ambivalent avant-garde (Doctoral dissertation).

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
Haskell DG. 2013. Nature’s Case for Same-Sex Marriage. New York Times. A19.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Zhang 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Richerson and Boyd 2008; Zhang 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Richerson and Boyd 2008)
  • Three or more authors: (Xu et al. 2013)

About the journal

Full journal titleCerebral Cortex
AbbreviationCereb. Cortex
ISSN (print)1047-3211
ISSN (online)1460-2199
ScopeCellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Cognitive Neuroscience

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