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
Watson, T. (2014). Environment: Breathing trouble. Nature, 513(7517), S14-5.
A journal article with 2 authors
Hibberd, J. M., & Quick, W. P. (2002). Characteristics of C4 photosynthesis in stems and petioles of C3 flowering plants. Nature, 415(6870), 451–454.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kaganovich, D., Kopito, R., & Frydman, J. (2008). Misfolded proteins partition between two distinct quality control compartments. Nature, 454(7208), 1088–1095.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Lin, W., Wang, Y., Gorby, Y., Nealson, K., & Pan, Y. (2013). Integrating niche-based process and spatial process in biogeography of magnetotactic bacteria. Scientific Reports, 3, 1643.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Cofnas, A. (2011). Trading Binary Options. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Bortfeld, T., Schmidt-Ullrich, R., Neve, W. D., & Wazer, D. E. (Eds.). (2006). Image-Guided IMRT. Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Shtub, A., & Karni, R. (2010). Marketing Considerations. In R. Karni (Ed.), ERP: The Dynamics of Supply Chain and Process Management (pp. 73–86). Springer US.

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
Hale, T. (2016, September 14). Dramatic Photographs Of Hawaii’s Rising Lava Lake Levels. 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. (2007). Highlights of a Forum: Transforming Transportation Policy for the 21st Century (GAO-07-1210SP). 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
Zaegel, B. M. (2012). An Evaluation of the School-wide Positive Behavior Intervention and Support Check In/Check Out Behavior Education Program [Doctoral dissertation]. Lindenwood 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
Shattuck, K. (2017, June 2). A Break From ‘House of Cards’ Intrigue. New York Times, MB2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Watson, 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Hibberd & Quick, 2002; Watson, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Hibberd & Quick, 2002)
  • Three authors: (Kaganovich et al., 2008)
  • 6 or more authors: (Lin et al., 2013)

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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