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
Sambles, J. R. 2015. Optics. Structured photons take it slow. Science (New York, N.Y.) 347.828.
A journal article with 2 authors
Matzke, M. A.; and A. J. Matzke. 2000. Cloning problems don’t surprise plant biologists. Science (New York, N.Y.) 288.2318b.
A journal article with 3 authors
Lee, Adrian.; Carina Dennis.; and Philip Campbell. 2007. Nature’s guide for mentors. Nature 447.791–797.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Ceci, Marcello.; Cristina Gaviraghi.; Chiara Gorrini.; Leonardo A. Sala.; Nina Offenhäuser.; Pier Carlo Marchisio.; and Stefano Biffo. 2003. Release of eIF6 (p27BBP) from the 60S subunit allows 80S ribosome assembly. Nature 426.579–584.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Escarpa, Alberto.; María Cristina González.; and Miguel Ángel López. 2015. Agricultural and Food Electroanalysis. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Al-Begain, Khalid, Dieter Fiems, and William J. Knottenbelt (eds.) 2010. Analytical and Stochastic Modeling Techniques and Applications: 17th International Conference, ASMTA 2010, Cardiff, UK, June 14-16, 2010. Proceedings. Vol. 6148. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Zaidi, Nisar A.; and Stanley B. Sidhu. 2016. Open Adrenalectomy. Illustrative Handbook of General Surgery, ed. by Herbert Chen, 51–60. Cham: 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 Language.

Blog post
Carpineti, Alfredo. 2016. Astronomers Have Spotted The Most Distant Oxygen In The Universe. 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. 1990. Airline Competition: DOT and Justice Oversight of Eastern Air Lines’ Bankruptcy. 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
Aggarwal, Ektha. 2012. South Asian women’s attitudes toward help-seeking behaviors. Long Beach, CA: California State University, Long Beach 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
Bosman, Julie.; Amy Harmon.; Christine Hauser.; Jess Bidgood.; and Maggie Astor. 2017. Friends and Relatives Share Memories About the Las Vegas Shooting Victims. New York Times.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Sambles 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Sambles 2015; Matzke and Matzke 2000).

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

  • Two authors: (Matzke and Matzke 2000)
  • Three authors: (Lee, Dennis, and Campbell 2007)
  • 4 or more authors: (Ceci et al. 2003)

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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