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
Shelach, G. (2012). Anthropology. On the invention of pottery. Science (New York, N.Y.), 336(6089), 1644–1645.
A journal article with 2 authors
Helffrich, G. R., & Wood, B. J. (2001). The Earth’s mantle. Nature, 412(6846), 501–507.
A journal article with 3 authors
Penner, J. E., Dong, X., & Chen, Y. (2004). Observational evidence of a change in radiative forcing due to the indirect aerosol effect. Nature, 427(6971), 231–234.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Ko, H. Y., Lee, J., Joo, J. Y., Lee, Y. S., Heo, H., Ko, J. J., & Kim, S. (2014). A color-tunable molecular beacon to sense miRNA-9 expression during neurogenesis. Scientific reports, 4, 4626.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
D’Amico, G., Di Biase, G., Janssen, J., & Manca, R. (2017). Semi-Markov Migration Models for Credit Risk. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Dzemyda, G. (2013). Multidimensional Data Visualization: Methods and Applications. (O. Kurasova & J. Žilinskas, Eds.) (Vol. 75). New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Maher, N. G., & Murrell, D. F. (2015). A 52-Year-Old Italian Male with Widespread Blistering and Erosions Refractory to Regular Dose Prednisone. In D. F. Murrell (Ed.), Clinical Cases in Autoimmune Blistering Diseases (pp. 27–34). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

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
Hale, T. (2016, September 1). This Giant Black Slug Is Almost As Big As Your Arm. 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. (2017). International Air Travelers: CBP Collaborates with Stakeholders to Facilitate the Arrivals Process, but Could Strengthen Reporting of Airport Wait Times (No. GAO-17-470). 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
Kaiser, C. V. (2015). “Maps of the world[s] in its becoming[s]”: Seeking queer potentialities in the post-apocalyptic narrative (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
Rothenberg, B. (2017, January 20). Young Player Has Made Her Name by Speaking Her Mind. New York Times, p. B9.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Shelach 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Helffrich and Wood 2001; Shelach 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Helffrich and Wood 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Ko 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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