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
Gilbert, N. (2011). Local benefits: The seeds of an economy. Nature, 474(7352), S18-9.
A journal article with 2 authors
Heldin, C. H., & Ericsson, J. (2001). Signal transduction. RIPping tyrosine kinase receptors apart. Science (New York, N.Y.), 294(5549), 2111–2113.
A journal article with 3 authors
Huang, S., Lee, C.-T. A., & Yin, Q.-Z. (2014). Missing lead and high 3He/4He in ancient sulfides associated with continental crust formation. Scientific Reports, 4, 5314.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Martens-Habbena, W., Berube, P. M., Urakawa, H., de la Torre, J. R., & Stahl, D. A. (2009). Ammonia oxidation kinetics determine niche separation of nitrifying Archaea and Bacteria. Nature, 461(7266), 976–979.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Tadros, T. F. (2010). Colloids in Paints. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Hakeem, K. R., Jawaid, M., & Rashid, U. (Eds.). (2014). Biomass and Bioenergy: Processing and Properties. Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Möller, S. (2008). Evaluating Interactions with Spoken Dialogue Telephone Services. In L. Dybkjær & W. Minker (Eds.), Recent Trends in Discourse and Dialogue (pp. 69–100). Springer Netherlands.

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, January 16). Micro-turbines could revolutionize small-scale energy production. 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. (2000). Biotechnology: Information on Prices of Genetically Modified Seeds in the United States and Argentina (T-RCED/NSIAD-00-228). 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
Waldron, K. D. (2017). The Influence of Leadership Emotional Intelligence on Employee Engagement [Doctoral dissertation]. Pepperdine University.

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
Loomis, G. (2012, September 25). Phantasmagoric Glimpses of Beauty Amid All of the Messiness. New York Times, 0.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Gilbert, 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Gilbert, 2011; Heldin & Ericsson, 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Heldin & Ericsson, 2001)
  • Three authors: (Huang et al., 2014)
  • 6 or more authors: (Martens-Habbena et al., 2009)

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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