How to format your references using the Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (SCAN). 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
Bystricky, M. (2003). Geophysics. Mantle flow revisited. Science (New York, N.Y.), 301, 1190–91
A journal article with 2 authors
Gombosi, T.I., Hansen, K.C. (2005). Saturn’s variable magnetosphere. Science (New York, N.Y.), 307, 1224–26
A journal article with 3 authors
Zinchuk, V., Wu, Y., Grossenbacher-Zinchuk, O. (2013). Bridging the gap between qualitative and quantitative colocalization results in fluorescence microscopy studies. Scientific reports, 3, 1365
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Falk, D., Hildebolt, C., Smith, K., et al. (2005). The brain of LB1, Homo floresiensis. Science (New York, N.Y.), 308, 242–45

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Campbell, C.A. (2008). The One-Page Project Manager for it Projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Martin, J. (2010). Persons: Understanding Psychological Selfhood and Agency. J. H. Sugarman, S. Hickinbottom (eds). New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Redouté, J.-M., Steyaert, M. (2010). EMI Resisting Analog Input Circuits. In: M. Steyaert (ed). EMC of Analog Integrated Circuits. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, p. 141–95.

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 Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2014). 25 Bizarre Genetic And Developmental Mistakes You Have to See to Believe. IFLScience [online]. Available from: [Accessed October 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 (2014). Information Technology: HUD Can Take Additional Actions to Improve Its Governance. 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
Winer, E.J. (2010). Elementary School Consolidation and Reconfiguration: An Autoethnographic Case Study. Doctoral dissertation. Scottsdale, AZ: Northcentral University.

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
Walsh, M.W. (2016). Puerto Rico Asks Congress for Law to Allow It to Restructure $49 Billion in Debt. New York Times, B3

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Bystricky, 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Bystricky, 2003; Gombosi and Hansen, 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Gombosi and Hansen, 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (Falk et al., 2005)

About the journal

Full journal titleSocial Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
AbbreviationSoc. Cogn. Affect. Neurosci.
ISSN (print)1749-5016
ISSN (online)1749-5024
ScopeGeneral Medicine
Cognitive Neuroscience
Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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