How to format your references using the Biosemiotics citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Biosemiotics. 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
Geanakoplos, J. (2009). Recession Watch: End the obsession with interest. Nature, 457(7232), 963.
A journal article with 2 authors
Neilsen, J., & Lee, J. C. (2009). Accretion disk winds as the jet suppression mechanism in the microquasar GRS 1915+105. Nature, 458(7237), 481–484.
A journal article with 3 authors
Wang, C., Potter, A. C., & Senthil, T. (2014). Classification of interacting electronic topological insulators in three dimensions. Science (New York, N.Y.), 343(6171), 629–631.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Mones, E., Araújo, N. A. M., Vicsek, T., & Herrmann, H. J. (2014). Shock waves on complex networks. Scientific reports, 4, 4949.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Numai, T. (2010). Laser Diodes and their Applications to Communications and Information Processing. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Castro Solano, A. (Ed.). (2014). Positive Psychology in Latin America (Vol. 10). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Liang, X., Lu, R., Lin, X., & Shen, X. (2013). Recommendation-Based Trustworthy Service Evaluation. In R. Lu, X. Lin, & X. Shen (Eds.), Security and Privacy in Mobile Social Networks (pp. 67–93). New York, NY: 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 Biosemiotics.

Blog post
Fang, J. (2014, December 23). We Have a More Fragile Skeleton Than Our Hunter-Gatherer Ancestors. IFLScience. IFLScience. 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. (1989). ADP Acquisition: Air Force Logistics System Modernization Projects (No. IMTEC-89-42). 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
Pestano, A. C. (2017). The Utilization of a Web-Based Internet Application to Improve Access and Efficiency of In-Home Care Services Provided by Personal Care Aides (Doctoral dissertation). California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

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
Otis, J. (2016, November 27). Striving for Normalcy While Fighting Cancer. New York Times, p. A18.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Geanakoplos 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Geanakoplos 2009; Neilsen and Lee 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Neilsen and Lee 2009)
  • Three or more authors: (Mones et al. 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleBiosemiotics
ISSN (print)1875-1342
ISSN (online)1875-1350
ScopeLanguage and Linguistics
Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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