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
Yoder, A.D. (2013). Evolution. Fossils versus clocks. Science (New York, N.Y.), 339, 656–58
A journal article with 2 authors
Raser, J.M., O’Shea, E.K. (2005). Noise in gene expression: origins, consequences, and control. Science (New York, N.Y.), 309, 2010–13
A journal article with 3 authors
Griffin, B.M., Schott, J., Schink, B. (2007). Nitrite, an electron donor for anoxygenic photosynthesis. Science (New York, N.Y.), 316, 1870
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Kee, K., Angeles, V.T., Flores, M., et al. (2009). Human DAZL, DAZ and BOULE genes modulate primordial germ-cell and haploid gamete formation. Nature, 462, 222–25

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bunnell, T. (2016). From World City to the World in One City. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Nicolaidis, M. ed. (2011). Soft Errors in Modern Electronic Systems. Boston, MA: Springer US.
A chapter in an edited book
Biryukov, A., Bouillaguet, C., Khovratovich, D. (2014). Cryptographic Schemes Based on the ASASA Structure: Black-Box, White-Box, and Public-Key (Extended Abstract). In: P. Sarkar, T. Iwata (eds). Advances in Cryptology – ASIACRYPT 2014: 20th International Conference on the Theory and Application of Cryptology and Information Security, Kaoshiung, Taiwan, R.O.C., December 7-11, 2014. Proceedings, Part I. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, p. 63–84.

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). Bitter Coffee Today? Try Changing The Colour Of Your Cup. 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 (2013). Data Center Consolidation: Strengthened Oversight Needed to Achieve Cost Savings Goal. 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
Watson, K.L. (2017). Putting together the pieces of a social cognition deficit: A retrospective case study. Doctoral dissertation. Long Beach, CA: 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
(nyt), S.K. (2004). World Briefing | Europe: Russia: Miners’ Hunger Strike. New York Times, A12

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Yoder, 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Raser and O’Shea, 2005; Yoder, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Raser and O’Shea, 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (Kee et al., 2009)

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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