How to format your references using the Cognitive Development citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Cognitive Development. 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
Macilwain, C. (2000). Bell Labs win superconductivity patent. Nature, 403(6766), 121–122.
A journal article with 2 authors
Tang, Y., & Cohen, A. E. (2011). Enhanced enantioselectivity in excitation of chiral molecules by superchiral light. Science (New York, N.Y.), 332(6027), 333–336.
A journal article with 3 authors
Li, W. K. W., Harrison, W. G., & Head, E. J. H. (2006). Coherent sign switching in multiyear trends of microbial plankton. Science (New York, N.Y.), 311(5764), 1157–1160.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Tiberkevich, V. S., Khymyn, R. S., Tang, H. X., & Slavin, A. N. (2014). Sensitivity to external signals and synchronization properties of a non-isochronous auto-oscillator with delayed feedback. Scientific Reports, 4, 3873.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chappell, D. (2008). The JCT Design and Build Contract 2005. Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
An edited book
Staab, S., & Studer, R. (Eds.). (2009). Handbook on Ontologies. Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Amir, S., Siddiqui, A. A., Ahmed, N., Chowdhry, B. S., & Grout, I. (2014). Design and Implementation of a Pressure Sensor on Proteus. In F. K. Shaikh, B. S. Chowdhry, S. Zeadally, D. M. A. Hussain, A. A. Memon, & M. A. Uqaili (Eds.), Communication Technologies, Information Security and Sustainable Development: Third International Multi-topic Conference, IMTIC 2013, Jamshoro, Pakistan, December 18--20, 2013, Revised Selected Papers (pp. 46–55). Springer International Publishing.

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 Cognitive Development.

Blog post
Evans, K. (2017, June 12). Mexican Government Teams Up With Leonardo DiCaprio In Last-Ditch Effort To Save Vaquita. 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. (1980). The Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (No. 113316). 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
Peng, E. (2017). Teaching and Coaching Brazilian Jiujitsu: An Instructional Manual [Doctoral dissertation]. California State University, Long Beach.

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
Gustines, G. G. (2013, April 18). Superman at 75: Still Going Strong. New York Times, C3.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Macilwain, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Macilwain, 2000; Tang & Cohen, 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Tang & Cohen, 2011)
  • Three authors: (Li et al., 2006)
  • 6 or more authors: (Tiberkevich et al., 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleCognitive Development
AbbreviationCogn. Dev.
ISSN (print)0885-2014
ScopeDevelopmental and Educational Psychology
Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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