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
Cohen, J. (2001). Knife-edge of design. Nature, 411(6837), 529.
A journal article with 2 authors
Sorger, V. J., & Zhang, X. (2011). Physics. Spotlight on plasmon lasers. Science (New York, N.Y.), 333(6043), 709–710.
A journal article with 3 authors
Garlaschelli, D., Caldarelli, G., & Pietronero, L. (2003). Universal scaling relations in food webs. Nature, 423(6936), 165–168.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Chen, D., Wang, J., Chen, T., & Shao, L. (2013). Defect annihilation at grain boundaries in alpha-Fe. Scientific Reports, 3, 1450.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Staudt, G. (2001). Experimentalphysik. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Hu, R., Liu, J., & Zhai, M. (Eds.). (2010). Mineral Resources Science in China: A Roadmap to 2050. Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Massera, E., Miglietta, M. L., Polichetti, T., Di Francia, G., Borbone, F., Ricciotti, L., Pappalardo, S., & Roviello, A. (2011). Poly[3-(4-Alkoxyphenyl)thiophenes] Based Chemical Sensors. In G. Neri, N. Donato, A. d’Amico, & C. Di Natale (Eds.), Sensors and Microsystems: AISEM 2010 Proceedings (pp. 43–47). 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. (2015, January 6). Philae Lander Is Missing. 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. (1988). GAO’s Views on the Default Task Force’s Recommendations for Reducing Default Costs in the Guaranteed Student Loan Program (T-HRD-88-7). 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
Blazer, A. E. (2003). “I Am Otherwise”: The Romance Between Poetry and Theory After the Death of the Subject [Doctoral dissertation]. Ohio State 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
Kelly, M. (1993, February 18). CLINTON’S ECONOMIC PLAN: The Campaign; Gambling That a Tax-Cut Promise Was Not Taken Seriously. New York Times, A16.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Cohen, 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Cohen, 2001; Sorger & Zhang, 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Sorger & Zhang, 2011)
  • Three authors: (Garlaschelli et al., 2003)
  • 6 or more authors: (Chen et al., 2013)

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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