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
Weissman, J., 2009. Journal club. A biochemist looks at how DNA sequencing can reveal more than just sequences. Nature 461, 1177.
A journal article with 2 authors
Horn, P.J., Peterson, C.L., 2002. Molecular biology. Chromatin higher order folding--wrapping up transcription. Science 297, 1824–1827.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kuba, H., Ishii, T.M., Ohmori, H., 2006. Axonal site of spike initiation enhances auditory coincidence detection. Nature 444, 1069–1072.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Wang, K., Zhao, J., Cheng, Q., Dong, D.S., Cui, T.J., 2014. Broadband and broad-angle low-scattering metasurface based on hybrid optimization algorithm. Sci. Rep. 4, 5935.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Van Fleet, P.J., 2008. Discrete Wavelet Transformations. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Aldinger, C.E., Vince Whitman, C. (Eds.), 2009. Case Studies in Global School Health Promotion: From Research to Practice. Springer, New York, NY.
A chapter in an edited book
Wong, P.Y.H., Diakov, N., Schaefer, I., 2012. Modelling Adaptable Distributed Object Oriented Systems Using the HATS Approach: A Fredhopper Case Study, in: Beckert, B., Damiani, F., Gurov, D. (Eds.), Formal Verification of Object-Oriented Software: International Conference, FoVeOOS 2011, Turin, Italy, October 5-7, 2011, Revised Selected Papers, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 49–66.

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
Hale, T., 2016. This Designer’s Project Shows How Genetic Material Could Be Exploited By Biotechnology [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, 2014. Spectrum Management: FCC’s Use and Enforcement of Buildout Requirements (No. GAO-14-236). 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
Smith, K.L., 2012. Initial construct validation of the color figure mazes test (Doctoral dissertation). Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA.

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
Sisario, B., 2016. Head of Columbia Records Promoted to Lead Sony Music. New York Times B2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Weissman, 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Horn and Peterson, 2002; Weissman, 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Horn and Peterson, 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Wang et al., 2014)

About the journal

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

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