How to format your references using the Visual Cognition citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Visual Cognition. 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
Lehn, J.-M. (2002). Toward self-organization and complex matter. Science (New York, N.Y.), 295(5564), 2400–2403.
A journal article with 2 authors
Bellingham, J. G., & Rajan, K. (2007). Robotics in remote and hostile environments. Science (New York, N.Y.), 318(5853), 1098–1102.
A journal article with 3 authors
Boyvat, M., Hafner, C., & Leuthold, J. (2014). Wireless control and selection of forces and torques--towards wireless engines. Scientific Reports, 4, 5681.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Krojer, T., Garrido-Franco, M., Huber, R., Ehrmann, M., & Clausen, T. (2002). Crystal structure of DegP (HtrA) reveals a new protease-chaperone machine. Nature, 416(6879), 455–459.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Helsel, D. R. (2011). Statistics for Censored Environmental Data Using Minitab® and R. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Sawai, H. (Ed.). (2011). Biological Functions for Information and Communication Technologies: Theory and Inspiration (Vol. 320). Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Kumar, P. (2013). From Punch to Matlvālā: Transcultural Lives of a Literary Format. In H. Harder & B. Mittler (Eds.), Asian Punches: A Transcultural Affair (pp. 75–110). Springer.

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 Visual Cognition.

Blog post
Fang, J. (2015, April 11). How Do You Sex Dinosaurs? Look at Their Tails. IFLScience; 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. (1990). Job Training Partnership Act: Information on Set-Aside Funding for Assistance to Older Workers (HRD-90-59FS). 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
Wead, M. O. (2009). Fear and Doubt [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Maryland, College Park.

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
Koblin, J. (2017, January 25). 2 Shows Try to Shake Up Formula for Reality TV. New York Times, B1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Lehn, 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Bellingham & Rajan, 2007; Lehn, 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Bellingham & Rajan, 2007)
  • Three authors: (Boyvat et al., 2014)
  • 6 or more authors: (Krojer et al., 2002)

About the journal

Full journal titleVisual Cognition
AbbreviationVis. cogn.
ISSN (print)1350-6285
ISSN (online)1464-0716
ScopeArts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
Cognitive Neuroscience
Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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