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
Micoli K. Scientists and societies. Postdoc problems--postdoc solutions. Nature. 2005;434:1050.
A journal article with 2 authors
Lo M-T, Lee W-C. Detecting a weak association by testing its multiple perturbations: a data mining approach. Sci Rep. 2014;4:5081.
A journal article with 3 authors
Watanabe H, Nebel CE, Shikata S. Isotopic homojunction band engineering from diamond. Science. 2009;324:1425–8.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Parras A, Anta H, Santos-Galindo M, et al. Autism-like phenotype and risk gene mRNA deadenylation by CPEB4 mis-splicing. Nature. 2018;560:441–6.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
CCPS. Safe Design and Operation of Process Vents and Emission Control Systems. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2006.
An edited book
Umeda M, Wolf A, Bartenstein O, et al., editors. Declarative Programming for Knowledge Management: 16th International Conference on Applications of Declarative Programming and Knowledge Management, INAP 2005, Fukuoka, Japan, October 22-24, 2005. Revised Selected Papers. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer 2006.
A chapter in an edited book
Bartoli CG, Senn ME, Gergoff Grozeff GE. Physiological Processes Contributing to the Synthesis of Ascorbic Acid in Plants. In: Gupta DK, Palma JM, Corpas FJ, eds. Redox State as a Central Regulator of Plant-Cell Stress Responses. Cham: Springer International Publishing 2016:71–92.

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
Luntz S. Is There A Planet X? IFLScience. 2014. (accessed 30 October 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. Leasing Office Space: FAA’s Denver Solicitation May Have Unduly Restricted Competition. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office 1988.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Tuschall A. Exploration of the Relationship Between Implicit Theory of Intelligence and Employability. 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
Sisario B. With Vinyl, Creating a Physical Presence. New York Times. 2016;B2.

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

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