How to format your references using the Language Sciences citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Language Sciences. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Goldston, D., 2007. Political climate. Nature 450, 333.
A journal article with 2 authors
Novikov, V.N., Sokolov, A.P., 2004. Poisson’s ratio and the fragility of glass-forming liquids. Nature 431, 961–963.
A journal article with 3 authors
Muheim, R., Phillips, J.B., Akesson, S., 2006. Polarized light cues underlie compass calibration in migratory songbirds. Science 313, 837–839.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Haubensak, W., Kunwar, P.S., Cai, H., Ciocchi, S., Wall, N.R., Ponnusamy, R., Biag, J., Dong, H.-W., Deisseroth, K., Callaway, E.M., Fanselow, M.S., Lüthi, A., Anderson, D.J., 2010. Genetic dissection of an amygdala microcircuit that gates conditioned fear. Nature 468, 270–276.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Gardner, S., Birley, S., 2010. Blogging for Dummies®. Wiley Publishing, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Fischer, X., Daidie, A., Eynard, B., Paredes, M. (Eds.), 2016. Research in Interactive Design (Vol. 4): Mechanics, Design Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing, 1st ed. 2016. ed. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Różewski, P., Bednarz, J., 2014. Multimodal Perspective on Ontologies Combining Problem in Production Management Systems, in: Omatu, S., Bersini, H., Corchado, J.M., Rodríguez, S., Pawlewski, P., Bucciarelli, E. (Eds.), Distributed Computing and Artificial Intelligence, 11th International Conference, Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp. 39–46.

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 Sciences.

Blog post
Andrew, E., 2014. Genetically Modified Immune Cells Protect Against HIV [WWW Document]. IFLScience. URL (accessed 10.30.18).


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, 1985. [Query Concerning Legality of Transfer of Japan-United States Friendship Commission Funds] (No. B-217093). U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Cox, T.M., 2010. Is the Procurement Integrity Act “Important” Enough for the Mandatory Disclosure Rule?: A Look at the Procurement Integrity Act and the Case for its Inclusion in the Mandatory Disclosure Rule (Doctoral dissertation). George Washington University, Washington, DC.

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
Dominus, S., 2016. Parent Companies. New York Times MM46.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Goldston, 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Goldston, 2007; Novikov and Sokolov, 2004).

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

  • Two authors: (Novikov and Sokolov, 2004)
  • Three or more authors: (Haubensak et al., 2010)

About the journal

Full journal titleLanguage Sciences
AbbreviationLang. Sci.
ISSN (print)0388-0001
ScopeLanguage and Linguistics
Linguistics and Language

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