How to format your references using the Language citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Language. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Rokas, Antonis. 2013. Genetics. My oldest sister is a sea walnut? Science (New York, N.Y.) 342.1327–1329.
A journal article with 2 authors
Kasahara, Takaoki.; and Tadafumi Kato. 2003. Nutritional biochemistry: A new redox-cofactor vitamin for mammals. Nature 422.832.
A journal article with 3 authors
Lam, E.; N. Kato.; and M. Lawton. 2001. Programmed cell death, mitochondria and the plant hypersensitive response. Nature 411.848–853.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Zhang, Xiao.; Wenhao Weng.; Wen Xu.; Yulan Wang.; Wenjun Yu.; Xun Tang.; Lifang Ma.; Qiuhui Pan.; Jiayi Wang.; and Fenyong Sun. 2014. Role of Bcl-2 -938 C>A polymorphism in susceptibility and prognosis of cancer: a meta-analysis. Scientific reports 4.7241.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bromfield, Richard. 2010. Doing Therapy with Children and Adolescents with Asperger Syndrome. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Balian, E. V., C. Lévêque, H. Segers, and K. Martens (eds.) 2008. Freshwater Animal Diversity Assessment. Vol. 198. Developments in Hydrobiology. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
He, Yao.; and Yuanyuan Su. 2014. Silicon-Based Nanoprobes for Bioimaging Applications. Silicon Nano-biotechnology, ed. by Yuanyuan Su, 61–73. SpringerBriefs in Molecular Science. Berlin, Heidelberg: 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 Language.

Blog post
Davis, Josh. 2016. Roads Have Cut Up The World’s Wilderness Into 600,000 Fragments. 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. 1995. Resources, Community, and Economic Development Information Systems Issue Area: Active Assignments. 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
Lowrance, Tracy Lynn. 2017. Exploring the Four Modes of Organizational Forgetting in an Organization Post Acquisition. Washington, DC: George Washington University doctoral dissertation.

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
Crow, Kelly. 2001. On Once-Bawdy 42nd Street, The Last Dirty Picture Show. New York Times.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Rokas 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Rokas 2013; Kasahara and Kato 2003).

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

  • Two authors: (Kasahara and Kato 2003)
  • Three authors: (Lam, Kato, and Lawton 2001)
  • 4 or more authors: (Zhang et al. 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleLanguage
AbbreviationLanguage (Baltim.)
ISSN (print)0097-8507
ISSN (online)1535-0665
ScopeLanguage and Linguistics
Linguistics and Language

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