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
Nelder, C. (2013). Communication: Positive energy. Nature, 498(7454), 293–295.
A journal article with 2 authors
Kofman, A. G., & Kurizki, G. (2000). Acceleration of quantum decay processes by frequent observations. Nature, 405(6786), 546–550.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kah, L. C., Lyons, T. W., & Frank, T. D. (2004). Low marine sulphate and protracted oxygenation of the Proterozoic biosphere. Nature, 431(7010), 834–838.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Marketon, M. M., DePaolo, R. W., DeBord, K. L., Jabri, B., & Schneewind, O. (2005). Plague bacteria target immune cells during infection. Science (New York, N.Y.), 309(5741), 1739–1741.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Valière, J.-C. (2014). Acoustic Particle Velocity Measurements Using Lasers. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Hu, Q. (2008). Markov Decision Processes With Their Applications (W. Yue, Ed.). Boston, MA: Springer US.
A chapter in an edited book
Huang, S., Wang, S., Li, W., & Wang, Q. (2016). The Propagation Characteristics of Ultrasonic Guided Waves in Plate and Pipe. In S. Wang, W. Li, & Q. Wang (Eds.), Electromagnetic Ultrasonic Guided Waves (pp. 153–181). Singapore: 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. (2015, August 6). Active Volcano On Reunion Island Erupts For Third Time In 2015. Retrieved October 30, 2018, from IFLScience website:


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. (2001). Space Station: Inadequate Planning and Design Led to Propulsion Module Project Failure (No. GAO-01-633). 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
Contartesi, R. A. (2010). School climate: A correlational analysis of superintendent leadership communication and employee performance (Doctoral dissertation). University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ.

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
Poniewozik, J. (2017, March 1). The President Changes His Tone, if Not His Tune. New York Times, p. A18.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Nelder, 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Kofman & Kurizki, 2000; Nelder, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Kofman & Kurizki, 2000)
  • Three authors: (Kah, Lyons, & Frank, 2004)
  • 6 or more authors: (Marketon, DePaolo, DeBord, Jabri, & Schneewind, 2005)

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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