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
Hartwell, Lee. 2004. Genetics. Robust interactions. Science (New York, N.Y.) 303.774–775.
A journal article with 2 authors
Boughn, Stephen.; and Robert Crittenden. 2004. A correlation between the cosmic microwave background and large-scale structure in the Universe. Nature 427.45–47.
A journal article with 3 authors
Bouchard, M. J.; L. H. Wang.; and R. J. Schneider. 2001. Calcium signaling by HBx protein in hepatitis B virus DNA replication. Science (New York, N.Y.) 294.2376–2378.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Glickman, Seth W.; Emma B. Rasiel.; Carol Dukes Hamilton.; Arsen Kubataev.; and Kevin A. Schulman. 2006. Medicine. A portfolio model of drug development for tuberculosis. Science (New York, N.Y.) 311.1246–1247.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Durenard, Eugene A. 2013. Professional Automated Trading. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Fan, Xudong (ed.) 2009. Advanced Photonic Structures for Biological and Chemical Detection. Integrated Analytical Systems. New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Ogisu, Takayo. 2016. Pedagogy in Cambodian Schools. The Political Economy of Schooling in Cambodia: Issues of Quality and Equity, ed. by Yuto Kitamura, D. Brent Edwards, Chhinh Sitha, and James H. Williams, 57–75. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan 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 Language.

Blog post
Hale, Tom. 2017. Male Garter Snakes Enjoy Orgies So Much They Will Almost Die For Them. 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. 1978. Continuing Educational Programs for Scientists and Engineers. 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
Faello, Joseph Peter. 2012. Is strong corporate governance associated with informative income smoothing? Mississippi State, MS: Mississippi State 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
Eligon, John. 2017. Family of Man Shot by Officer Settles Suit. New York Times.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Hartwell 2004).
This sentence cites two references (Hartwell 2004; Boughn and Crittenden 2004).

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

  • Two authors: (Boughn and Crittenden 2004)
  • Three authors: (Bouchard, Wang, and Schneider 2001)
  • 4 or more authors: (Glickman et al. 2006)

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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