How to format your references using the Natural Language & Linguistic Theory citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Natural Language & Linguistic Theory. 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
Bobrow, Martin. 2015. Funders must encourage scientists to share. Nature 522: 129.
A journal article with 2 authors
Stone, Richard, and Barbara Jasny. 2013. Communication in science pressures and predators. Scientific discourse: buckling at the seams. Introduction. Science (New York, N.Y.) 342: 56–57.
A journal article with 3 authors
Chang, Paul, Myron K. Jacobson, and Timothy J. Mitchison. 2004. Poly(ADP-ribose) is required for spindle assembly and structure. Nature 432: 645–649.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Zhang, Hua, Run-Sheng Yin, Xin-Bin Feng, Jonas Sommar, Christopher W. N. Anderson, Atindra Sapkota, Xue-Wu Fu, and Thorjørn Larssen. 2013. Atmospheric mercury inputs in montane soils increase with elevation: evidence from mercury isotope signatures. Scientific reports 3: 3322.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Snopek, Lukasz. 2012. The Complete Guide to Portfolio Construction and Management. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Nguyen, Ninh T., Robin P. Blackstone, John M. Morton, Jaime Ponce, and Raul J. Rosenthal, ed. 2015. The ASMBS Textbook of Bariatric Surgery: Volume 1: Bariatric Surgery. New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Zäpfel, Günther, Roland Braune, and Michael Bögl. 2010. Metaheuristics in General. In Metaheuristic Search Concepts: A Tutorial with Applications to Production and Logistics, ed. Roland Braune and Michael Bögl, 67–73. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.

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 Natural Language & Linguistic Theory.

Blog post
Andrew, Elise. 2015. Spectacular New Images Show Enormous Glacier On Mars. IFLScience. IFLScience. September 14.


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. 2015. Surface Transportation Security: TSA Has Taken Steps Designed to Develop Processes for Sharing and Analyzing Information and to Improve Rail Security Incident Reporting. GAO-15-205T. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Rodriguez, Jose Manuel. 2008. Navy Supply Corps officer’s perspective on effective leadership. Doctoral dissertation, Phoenix, AZ: University of Phoenix.

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, Linda. 2009. Districts Pursue School-Closing Plans to Save Money. New York Times, March 8.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Bobrow 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Stone and Jasny 2013; Bobrow 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Stone and Jasny 2013)
  • Three or more authors: (Zhang et al. 2013)

About the journal

Full journal titleNatural Language & Linguistic Theory
AbbreviationNat. Lang. Linguist. Theory
ISSN (print)0167-806X
ISSN (online)1573-0859
ScopeLanguage and Linguistics
Linguistics and Language

Other styles