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
Weitz, David A. 2009. Materials science. Unjamming a polymer glass. Science (New York, N.Y.) 323.214–215.
A journal article with 2 authors
Fodde, Riccardo.; and Ron Smits. 2002. Cancer biology. A matter of dosage. Science (New York, N.Y.) 298.761–763.
A journal article with 3 authors
Pereira, Henrique Miguel.; Luís Borda-de-Água.; and Inês Santos Martins. 2012. Geometry and scale in species-area relationships. Nature 482.E3-4; author reply E5-6.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Ren, Dong.; Conrad C. Labandeira.; Jorge A. Santiago-Blay.; Alexandr Rasnitsyn.; Chungkun Shih.; Alexei Bashkuev.; M. Amelia V. Logan.; Carol L. Hotton.; and David Dilcher. 2009. A probable pollination mode before angiosperms: Eurasian, long-proboscid scorpionflies. Science (New York, N.Y.) 326.840–847.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Center for Chemical Process Safety. 2007. Guidelines for Safe and Reliable Instrumented Protective Systems. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Shur, Arseny M., and Mikhail V. Volkov (eds.) 2014. Developments in Language Theory: 18th International Conference, DLT 2014, Ekaterinburg, Russia, August 26-29, 2014. Proceedings. Vol. 8633. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Bernhard, Pierre.; Jacob C. Engwerda.; Berend Roorda.; J. M. Schumacher.; Vassili Kolokoltsov.; Patrick Saint-Pierre.; and Jean-Pierre Aubin. 2013. Optimal Hedging Under Robust-Cost Constraints. The Interval Market Model in Mathematical Finance: Game-Theoretic Methods, ed. by Jacob C. Engwerda, Berend Roorda, J. M. Schumacher, Vassili Kolokoltsov, Patrick Saint-Pierre, and Jean-Pierre Aubin, 65–77. New York, NY: 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. 2015. Seagulls Eat the Eyeballs of Baby Seals. 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. 1988. [Comments on Protection of Pricing Information Under GSA Procurement for Telecommunications Services]. 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
Rutherford, Jana. 2010. What is old is new again: The role of discontinuity in nostalgia-related consumption. Boca Raton, FL: Florida Atlantic 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
Brantley, Ben. 2017. This Barber? He Has Demons. New York Times.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Weitz 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Weitz 2009; Fodde and Smits 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Fodde and Smits 2002)
  • Three authors: (Pereira, Borda-de-Água, and Martins 2012)
  • 4 or more authors: (Ren et al. 2009)

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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