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
Sasai, Y. Cytosystems dynamics in self-organization of tissue architecture. Nature 2013, 493, 318–326.
A journal article with 2 authors
McDonnell, D.P.; Norris, J.D. Connections and regulation of the human estrogen receptor. Science 2002, 296, 1642–1644.
A journal article with 3 authors
Neale, M.J.; Pan, J.; Keeney, S. Endonucleolytic processing of covalent protein-linked DNA double-strand breaks. Nature 2005, 436, 1053–1057.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Caley, T.; Extier, T.; Collins, J.A.; Schefuß, E.; Dupont, L.; Malaizé, B.; Rossignol, L.; Souron, A.; McClymont, E.L.; Jimenez-Espejo, F.J.; et al. A two-million-year-long hydroclimatic context for hominin evolution in southeastern Africa. Nature 2018, 560, 76–79.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Häberlin, H. Photovoltaics; John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester, UK, 2012; ISBN 9781119976998.
An edited book
Acchar, W. Ceramic Materials from Coffee Bagasse Ash Waste; J. V. Dultra, E., Ed.; SpringerBriefs in Applied Sciences and Technology; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2015; ISBN 9783319152806.
A chapter in an edited book
Nahle, S.; Malouch, N. Placement Algorithms for WiMAX Mesh Network. In Next Generation Teletraffic and Wired/Wireless Advanced Networking: 8th International Conference, NEW2AN and 1st Russian Conference on Smart Spaces, ruSMART 2008 St. Petersburg, Russia, September 3-5, 2008. Proceedings; Balandin, S., Moltchanov, D., Koucheryavy, Y., Eds.; Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2008; pp. 37–48 ISBN 9783540854999.

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
Hale, T. Scientists In The Antarctic Are Drinking Way Too Much Booze (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 Aviation Safety: FAA Oversight of Repair Stations Needs Improvement; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1997;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Heyer, C. Advocacy Services for College Students With Disabilities: A Grant Proposal. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach: Long Beach, CA, 2017.

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
Gordon, M.R.; Schmitt, E. U.S. Sends Civilians to Stabilize Recaptured Syrian Areas. New York Times 2017, A6.

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