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
Greenfield, P.M. Technology and informal education: what is taught, what is learned. Science 2009, 323, 69–71.
A journal article with 2 authors
Munshi, N.V.; Olson, E.N. Translational medicine. Improving cardiac rhythm with a biological pacemaker. Science 2014, 345, 268–269.
A journal article with 3 authors
Hermans, T.M.; Frauenrath, H.; Stellacci, F. Materials science. Droplets out of equilibrium. Science 2013, 341, 243–244.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Gabaix, X.; Gopikrishnan, P.; Plerou, V.; Stanley, H.E. A theory of power-law distributions in financial market fluctuations. Nature 2003, 423, 267–270.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Center for Chemical Process Safety Guidelines for Process Safety Documentation; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ, 1995; ISBN 9780470938072.
An edited book
Plant Responses to Air Pollution and Global Change; Omasa, K., Nouchi, I., Kok, L.J.D., Eds.; Springer Japan: Tokyo, 2005; ISBN 9784431310136.
A chapter in an edited book
Rubio-Suárez, J.C. Complex Fractures of the Pelvic Ring. In Complex Fractures of the Limbs: Diagnosis and Management; Rodríguez-Merchán, E.C., Rubio-Suárez, J.C., Eds.; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2014; pp. 37–50 ISBN 9783319044408.

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
Carpineti, A. Latest Observations Of The TRAPPIST-1 System Shows The Planets In Perfect Harmony (accessed on Oct 30, 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 Advance Sheets: Volume 73, Decisions of the Comptroller General of the United States; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1994;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Maldonado, A. Incorporating abilities awareness into a bullying prevention program. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach: Long Beach, CA, 2012.

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
Saslow, L. Roslyn Chooses New Schools Superintendent. New York Times 2007, LI2.

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