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
Ledford, H. (2007). Cheap at any price? Nature, 447(7141), 131.
A journal article with 2 authors
Glimcher, P. W., & Rustichini, A. (2004). Neuroeconomics: the consilience of brain and decision. Science (New York, N.Y.), 306(5695), 447–452.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ohmoto, H., Watanabe, Y., & Kumazawa, K. (2004). Evidence from massive siderite beds for a CO2-rich atmosphere before approximately 1.8 billion years ago. Nature, 429(6990), 395–399.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Zhu, J., Zhang, J., Xu, H., Vogel, S. C., Jin, C., Frantti, J., & Zhao, Y. (2014). Pressure-induced reversal between thermal contraction and expansion in ferroelectric PbTiO3. Scientific reports, 4, 3700.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Neupert, R. (2011). French Animation History. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
An edited book
Weyns, D., Mirandola, R., & Crnkovic, I. (Eds.). (2015). Software Architecture: 9th European Conference, ECSA 2015, Dubrovnik/Cavtat, Croatia, September 7-11, 2015. Proceedings (Vol. 9278). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Pirkwieser, S., Raidl, G. R., & Puchinger, J. (2008). A Lagrangian Decomposition/Evolutionary Algorithm Hybrid for the Knapsack Constrained Maximum Spanning Tree Problem. In C. Cotta & J. van Hemert (Eds.), Recent Advances in Evolutionary Computation for Combinatorial Optimization (pp. 69–85). 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
Davis, J. (2015, September 26). Scientists Have Reconstructed The Hearing Abilities Of Our 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. (1995). National Airspace System: Comprehensive FAA Plan for Global Positioning System Is Needed (No. RCED-95-26). 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
Guilford, T. D. (2010). Advocacy for former prisoners to eliminate invisible bars: A grant proposal (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
Oestreich, J. R. (2017, January 6). Highways and Byways of an Austrian Maestro. New York Times, p. AR11.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Ledford 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Glimcher and Rustichini 2004; Ledford 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Glimcher and Rustichini 2004)
  • Three or more authors: (Zhu 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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