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
Hall, Alan. 2004. Virology. Src launches vaccinia. Science (New York, N.Y.) 306.65–67.
A journal article with 2 authors
Majmudar, T. S.; and R. P. Behringer. 2005. Contact force measurements and stress-induced anisotropy in granular materials. Nature 435.1079–1082.
A journal article with 3 authors
Connors, Martin.; Paul Wiegert.; and Christian Veillet. 2011. Earth’s Trojan asteroid. Nature 475.481–483.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Wardle, David A.; Richard D. Bardgett.; John N. Klironomos.; Heikki Setälä.; Wim H. van der Putten.; and Diana H. Wall. 2004. Ecological linkages between aboveground and belowground biota. Science (New York, N.Y.) 304.1629–1633.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Kaltashov, Igor A.; and Stephen J. Eyles. 2005. Mass Spectrometry in Biophysics. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Lu, Jiade J., and Luther W. Brady (eds.) 2011. Decision Making in Radiation Oncology: Volume 2. 1st ed. Vol. 0. Medical Radiology. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Einav, Itai.; and Giang D. Nguyen. 2009. Micromechanical alternatives to phenomenological hardening plasticity. Mechanics of Natural Solids, ed. by Dimitrios Kolymbas and Gioacchino Viggiani, 85–104. 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
Andrew, Elise. 2014. Graphene Light Detector Could Lead To Heat Vision Contact Lenses. 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. 2000. Electronic Government: Opportunities and Challenges Facing the FirstGov Web Gateway. 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
Rivera, Cristian. 2017. The Role of Privacy, Brand Labeling, and Cost on Condom Procurement: Using the Theory of Planned Behavior to Assess a University Policy. Lafayette, LA: University of Louisiana 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
Kelly, Kate.; and Maggie Haberman. 2017. Another Goldman Executive Is Chosen. New York Times.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Hall 2004).
This sentence cites two references (Hall 2004; Majmudar and Behringer 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Majmudar and Behringer 2005)
  • Three authors: (Connors, Wiegert, and Veillet 2011)
  • 4 or more authors: (Wardle et al. 2004)

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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