How to format your references using the Practical Neurology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Practical Neurology. 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
Detrick RS. Seafloor spreading. Portrait of a magma chamber. Nature 2000;406:578–9.
A journal article with 2 authors
Barkai N, Leibler S. Circadian clocks limited by noise. Nature 2000;403:267–8.
A journal article with 3 authors
Yamada Y, Kawabe T, Miyazaki M. Pattern randomness aftereffect. Sci Rep 2013;3:2906.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Nishiguchi KM, Sandberg MA, Kooijman AC, et al. Defects in RGS9 or its anchor protein R9AP in patients with slow photoreceptor deactivation. Nature 2004;427:75–8.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Voldman SH. ESD. Chichester, United Kingdom: : John Wiley & Sons, Ltd 2014.
An edited book
Goh C-K, Ong Y-S, Tan KC, editors. Multi-Objective Memetic Algorithms. Berlin, Heidelberg: : Springer 2009.
A chapter in an edited book
Rhee DJ, Colby KA, Sobrin L, et al. Anti-Glaucoma Agents. In: Colby KA, Sobrin L, Rapuano CJ, eds. Ophthalmologic Drug Guide. New York, NY: : Springer 2011. 53–64.

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 Practical Neurology.

Blog post
Andrew E. Conjoined gray whale calves discovered off the coast of Mexico. IFLScience. 2014. (accessed 30 Oct 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. National Mediation Board: Progress Made on Some GAO Recommendations to Strengthen Operations, but Key Controls Continue to Be Needed. Washington, DC: : U.S. Government Printing Office 2016.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Baker BR. Schizophrenia-spectrum behavior and peer responses to individuals with social anhedonia. 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
Schmidt MS. Top Banker Denies Role In Trump Moscow Plan. New York Times. 2017;:A17.

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 titlePractical Neurology
AbbreviationPract. Neurol.
ISSN (print)1474-7758
ISSN (online)1474-7766
ScopeGeneral Medicine
Clinical Neurology

Other styles