How to format your references using the Neuron citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Neuron. 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
Smaglik, P. (2003). Sweet dreams. Nature 421, 193.
A journal article with 2 authors
Shuler, M.G., and Bear, M.F. (2006). Reward timing in the primary visual cortex. Science 311, 1606–1609.
A journal article with 3 authors
Hsu, M., Anen, C., and Quartz, S.R. (2008). The right and the good: distributive justice and neural encoding of equity and efficiency. Science 320, 1092–1095.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Fernández-Pacheco, A., Serrano-Ramón, L., Michalik, J.M., Ibarra, M.R., De Teresa, J.M., O’Brien, L., Petit, D., Lee, J., and Cowburn, R.P. (2013). Three dimensional magnetic nanowires grown by focused electron-beam induced deposition. Sci. Rep. 3, 1492.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chin, W.C. (2016). Resistivity Modeling (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.).
An edited book
(2015). Control and Systems Engineering: A Report on Four Decades of Contributions (Cham: Springer International Publishing).
A chapter in an edited book
Vu, H.T., and Dassopoulos, T. (2014). Principles of Medical Management of Ulcerative Colitis. In Medical Therapy of Ulcerative Colitis, G.R. Lichtenstein, ed. (New York, NY: Springer), pp. 31–44.

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 Neuron.

Blog post
Hamilton, K. (2015). What Happens When Hummingbirds Fly In A Wind Tunnel? (IFLScience).


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 (2009). School Meal Programs: Changes to Federal Agencies’ Procedures Could Reduce Risk of School Children Consuming Recalled Food (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
Espinoza, M. (2010). A Latina’s educational attainment and her observations of foster youth’s educational struggles: A narrative. Doctoral dissertation. California State University, Long Beach.

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
Mueller, B., and McKINLEY, J.C., Jr (2015). Connecticut Death Penalty Law Is Unconstitutional, Top State Court Says. New York Times A20.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Smaglik, 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Shuler and Bear, 2006; Smaglik, 2003).

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

  • Two authors: (Shuler and Bear, 2006)
  • Three or more authors: (Fernández-Pacheco et al., 2013)

About the journal

Full journal titleNeuron
ISSN (print)0896-6273
ISSN (online)1097-4199
ScopeGeneral Neuroscience

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