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
Benenson, Y., 2013. Engineering. Recombinatorial logic. Science 340, 554–555.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ngai, J.T., Srivastava, D.S., 2006. Predators accelerate nutrient cycling in a bromeliad ecosystem. Science 314, 963.
A journal article with 3 authors
Arendt, D., Technau, U., Wittbrodt, J., 2001. Evolution of the bilaterian larval foregut. Nature 409, 81–85.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Murata, K., Mitsuoka, K., Hirai, T., Walz, T., Agre, P., Heymann, J.B., Engel, A., Fujiyoshi, Y., 2000. Structural determinants of water permeation through aquaporin-1. Nature 407, 599–605.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bai, Q., Bai, Y., Ruan, W., 2017. Advances in Pipes and Pipelines. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Youm, H.Y., Yung, M. (Eds.), 2009. Information Security Applications: 10th International Workshop, WISA 2009, Busan, Korea, August 25-27, 2009, Revised Selected Papers, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Bhamidimarri, R., 2016. Re-inventing Engineering Curriculum, in: Bhamidimarri, R., Liu, A. (Eds.), Engineering and Enterprise: Inspiring Innovation. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp. 45–53.

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., 2015. The Insane Moment A Hippo Tried To Attack A Boat Tour [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, 1999. Federal Communications Commission: Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 1999 (No. OGC-99-54). 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
Saxena, M., 2010. Learner analysis framework for globalized e-learning (Doctoral dissertation). Capella University, Minneapolis, MN.

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
Kishkovsky, S., 2000. Submarine’s Namesake City Hurts As Minute After Minute Ticks Away. New York Times A8.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Benenson, 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Benenson, 2013; Ngai and Srivastava, 2006).

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

  • Two authors: (Ngai and Srivastava, 2006)
  • Three or more authors: (Murata et al., 2000)

About the journal

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

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