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
Bergman, L. (2005). Damned if you don’t. Nature, 435(7044), 1002.
A journal article with 2 authors
Wulder, M. A., & Coops, N. C. (2014). Satellites: Make Earth observations open access. Nature, 513(7516), 30–31.
A journal article with 3 authors
Shubin, N. H., Daeschler, E. B., & Coates, M. I. (2004). The early evolution of the tetrapod humerus. Science (New York, N.Y.), 304(5667), 90–93.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Kim, J. W., You, S. I., Kim, N. H., Yoon, J.-A., Cheah, K. W., Zhu, F. R., & Kim, W. Y. (2014). Study of sequential dexter energy transfer in high efficient phosphorescent white organic light-emitting diodes with single emissive layer. Scientific reports, 4, 7009.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Dickeson, R. C. (2010). Prioritizing Academic Programs and Services. San Francisco, CA, USA: Jossey-Bass.
An edited book
Marcus, A. (Ed.). (2016). Design, User Experience, and Usability: Novel User Experiences: 5th International Conference, DUXU 2016, Held as Part of HCI International 2016, Toronto, Canada, July 17–22, 2016, Proceedings, Part II (Vol. 9747). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Zhong, G., Goldberg, I., & Hengartner, U. (2007). Louis, Lester and Pierre: Three Protocols for Location Privacy. In N. Borisov & P. Golle (Eds.), Privacy Enhancing Technologies: 7th International Symposium, PET 2007 Ottawa, Canada, June 20-22, 2007 Revised Selected Papers (pp. 62–76). Berlin, Heidelberg: 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
Taub, B. (2016, October 5). Caffeine May Protect Older Women From Dementia. 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. (1995). Aviation Safety: FAA Can Be More Proactive in Promoting Aviation Safety (No. T-RCED-95-81). 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
Nikolova, S. (2010). Health insurance transitions of SCHIP-eligible children in response to higher public premiums (Doctoral dissertation). University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.

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
Murphy, M. J. O. (2016, October 1). Our Monster Sorority. New York Times, p. SR4.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Bergman 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Bergman 2005; Wulder and Coops 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Wulder and Coops 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Kim 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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