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
Theissen, Günter. 2002. Secret life of genes. Nature 415.741.
A journal article with 2 authors
Kofman, A. G.; and G. Kurizki. 2000. Acceleration of quantum decay processes by frequent observations. Nature 405.546–550.
A journal article with 3 authors
Bruner, S. D.; D. P. Norman.; and G. L. Verdine. 2000. Structural basis for recognition and repair of the endogenous mutagen 8-oxoguanine in DNA. Nature 403.859–866.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Coureux, Pierre-Damien.; Amber L. Wells.; Julie Ménétrey.; Christopher M. Yengo.; Carl A. Morris.; H. Lee Sweeney.; and Anne Houdusse. 2003. A structural state of the myosin V motor without bound nucleotide. Nature 425.419–423.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ng, Rick. 2005. Drugs. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Smith, Stewart. 2007. Practical MythTV: Building a PVR and Media Center PC. (Ed.) Michael Still. Berkeley, CA: Apress.
A chapter in an edited book
Bez, Helmut E. 2007. Rational Maximal Parametrisations of Dupin Cyclides. Mathematics of Surfaces XII: 12th IMA International Conference, Sheffield, UK, September 4-6, 2007. Proceedings, ed. by Ralph Martin, Malcolm Sabin, and Joab Winkler, 78–92. Lecture Notes in Computer 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
Andrews, Robin. 2016. San Andreas Earthquakes May Be Triggered By The Pull Of The Sun And The Moon. 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. UMTA Project Oversight and Mass Transit Issues. 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
Kraynik, Michael J. 2009. Perceptions of U.S. Navy managers toward telecommuting as a management approach: A phenomenological study. Phoenix, AZ: University of Phoenix 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
Rosenberg, Matthew.; and James Risen. 2017. Trump’s Intelligence Nominee Gets an Early Lesson in Managing the White House. New York Times.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Theissen 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Theissen 2002; Kofman and Kurizki 2000).

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

  • Two authors: (Kofman and Kurizki 2000)
  • Three authors: (Bruner, Norman, and Verdine 2000)
  • 4 or more authors: (Coureux 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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