How to format your references using the Cognition citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Cognition. 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
Hubler, G. K. (2000). Fluff balls of fire. Nature, 403(6769), 487–488.
A journal article with 2 authors
Birks, H. J. B., & Birks, H. H. (2004). Paleoecology. The rise and fall of forests. Science (New York, N.Y.), 305(5683), 484–485.
A journal article with 3 authors
McCarter, J., Boge, G., & Darlow, G. (2001). Essays on science and society. Safeguarding the world’s natural treasures. Science (New York, N.Y.), 294(5549), 2099–2101.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Dore, J. E., Lukas, R., Sadler, D. W., & Karl, D. M. (2003). Climate-driven changes to the atmospheric CO2 sink in the subtropical North Pacific Ocean. Nature, 424(6950), 754–757.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
P. Wen, E., Ellis, R., & S. Pujar, N. (2014). Vaccine Development and Manufacturing. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Feng, J. (2015). Index and Query Methods in Road Networks (T. Watanabe, Ed.; Vol. 29). Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Miao, Z., Liu, C., & Lin, X. (2011). FCM Algorithm Based on Improved Automatic Segmentation of MRI Brain Images. In Y. Yu, Z. Yu, & J. Zhao (Eds.), Computer Science for Environmental Engineering and EcoInformatics: International Workshop, CSEEE 2011, Kunming, China, July 29-31, 2011, Proceedings, Part II (pp. 24–29). Springer.

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 Cognition.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2014, May 12). Camelopardalid Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight. IFLScience; IFLScience.


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. (1994). Space Projects: Astrophysics Facility Program Contains Cost and Technical Risks (NSIAD-94-80). 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
Minick, V. (2010). Educators’ Beliefs About and Approaches to the Evaluation of Student Writing [Doctoral dissertation]. University of South Florida.

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
Gordon, M. R. (2017, August 24). U.S. Mulls Providing Weapons to Ukraine. New York Times, A4.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Hubler, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Birks & Birks, 2004; Hubler, 2000).

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

  • Two authors: (Birks & Birks, 2004)
  • Three authors: (McCarter et al., 2001)
  • 6 or more authors: (Dore et al., 2003)

About the journal

Full journal titleCognition
ISSN (print)0010-0277
ScopeLanguage and Linguistics
Cognitive Neuroscience
Developmental and Educational Psychology
Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
Linguistics and Language

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