How to format your references using the Languages citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Languages. 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
Cohen, J.E. Human Population: The next Half Century. Science 2003, 302, 1172–1175.
A journal article with 2 authors
Pack, C.C.; Born, R.T. Temporal Dynamics of a Neural Solution to the Aperture Problem in Visual Area MT of Macaque Brain. Nature 2001, 409, 1040–1042.
A journal article with 3 authors
Mouchel, C.F.; Osmont, K.S.; Hardtke, C.S. BRX Mediates Feedback between Brassinosteroid Levels and Auxin Signalling in Root Growth. Nature 2006, 443, 458–461.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Reed, M.B.; Domenech, P.; Manca, C.; Su, H.; Barczak, A.K.; Kreiswirth, B.N.; Kaplan, G.; Barry, C.E., 3rd A Glycolipid of Hypervirulent Tuberculosis Strains That Inhibits the Innate Immune Response. Nature 2004, 431, 84–87.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
E. Sutherland, P. Principles of Electrical Safety; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ, 2014; ISBN 9781118886397.
An edited book
A Goal-Oriented Approach to Forest Landscape Restoration; Stanturf, J., Madsen, P., Lamb, D., Eds.; World Forests; Springer Netherlands: Dordrecht, 2012; Vol. 16; ISBN 9789400753372.
A chapter in an edited book
González-Jiménez, E.; Mullin, G.E. Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome: Etiopathogenic Analysis. In Integrative Weight Management: A Guide for Clinicians; Mullin, G.E., Cheskin, L.J., Matarese, L.E., Eds.; Springer: New York, NY, 2014; pp. 47–59 ISBN 9781493905478.

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 Languages.

Blog post
Davis, J. Preserving The Dead: Weird And Grisly Practices From Around The World Available online: (accessed on 30 October 2018).


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 Abstinence Education: Assessing the Accuracy and Effectiveness of Federally Funded Programs; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 2008;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Borchardt, G.M. Making D.C. Democracy’s Capital: Local Activism, the “Federal State”, and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Washington, D.C. Doctoral dissertation, George Washington University: Washington, DC, 2013.

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
Feeney, K. QUICK BITE/Newark; The Best of Brazil. New York Times 2006, 14NJ19.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [1].
This sentence cites two references [1,2].
This sentence cites four references [1–4].

About the journal

Full journal titleLanguages
ISSN (online)2226-471X

Other styles