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
Polyakov, V.B., 2009. Equilibrium iron isotope fractionation at core-mantle boundary conditions. Science 323, 912–914.
A journal article with 2 authors
Canadell, J.G., Raupach, M.R., 2008. Managing forests for climate change mitigation. Science 320, 1456–1457.
A journal article with 3 authors
Yozwiak, N.L., Schaffner, S.F., Sabeti, P.C., 2015. Data sharing: Make outbreak research open access. Nature 518, 477–479.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Lu, H.-X., Cao, L.-Z., Zhao, J.-Q., Li, Y.-D., Wang, X.-Q., 2014. Extreme violation of local realism with a hyper-entangled four-photon-eight-qubit Greenberger-Horne-Zelinger state. Sci. Rep. 4, 4476.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Franssen, J.-M., Vila Real, P., 2016. Fire Design of Steel Structures. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany.
An edited book
Schneider Beck Fl., A.C., 2010. Dynamic Reconfigurable Architectures and Transparent Optimization Techniques: Automatic Acceleration of Software Execution. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht.
A chapter in an edited book
Ammari, H., Kang, H., 2007. Full Asymptotic Formula for the Potentials, in: Kang, H. (Ed.), Polarization and Moment Tensors: With Applications to Inverse Problems and Effective Medium Theory, Applied Mathematical Sciences. Springer, New York, NY, pp. 129–144.

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
Luntz, S., 2015. Bizarre Bulge Spotted On Ganymede [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, 1991. Earth Observing System: Information on NASA’s Selection of Data Centers (No. IMTEC-91-67). 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
Aggarwal, E., 2012. South Asian women’s attitudes toward help-seeking behaviors (Doctoral dissertation). California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, 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
Brantley, B., 2017. An Embrace on a Grim Day. New York Times C1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Polyakov, 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Canadell and Raupach, 2008; Polyakov, 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Canadell and Raupach, 2008)
  • Three or more authors: (Lu 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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