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
Sarewitz, D. (2015). CRISPR: Science can’t solve it. Nature, 522(7557), 413–414.
A journal article with 2 authors
Labinger, J. A., & Bercaw, J. E. (2002). Understanding and exploiting C-H bond activation. Nature, 417(6888), 507–514.
A journal article with 3 authors
Lam, F. H., Steger, D. J., & O’Shea, E. K. (2008). Chromatin decouples promoter threshold from dynamic range. Nature, 453(7192), 246–250.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Gómez, M. I., Barrett, C. B., Buck, L. E., De Groote, H., Ferris, S., Gao, H. O., et al. (2011). Agriculture. Research principles for developing country food value chains. Science (New York, N.Y.), 332(6034), 1154–1155.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lebowitz, E. R., & Omer, H. (2013). Treating Childhood and Adolescent Anxiety. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Scheffers, A. M. (2016). Lakes of the World with Google Earth: Understanding our Environment. (D. H. Kelletat, Ed.) (Vol. 16). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Wang, Q., Zhang, X., Wang, Y., Chen, G., & Dan, F. (2013). The Design and Development of Object-Oriented UAV Image Change Detection System. In F. Bian, Y. Xie, X. Cui, & Y. Zeng (Eds.), Geo-Informatics in Resource Management and Sustainable Ecosystem: International Symposium, GRMSE 2013, Wuhan, China, November 8-10, 2013, Proceedings, Part I (pp. 33–42). 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
Andrew, E. (2016, May 5). Why Aren’t More People Vegetarian? 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. (2004). Commercial Aviation: Legacy Airlines Must Further Reduce Costs to Restore Profitability (No. GAO-04-836). 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
Payne, L. G. (2015). The experience of caring for women with drug or alcohol problems in the general hospital (Doctoral dissertation). Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL.

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
Sophia Kishkovsky; Compiled by. (2008, October 17). Russian Billionaires Still Like Valuable Art. New York Times, p. C4.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Sarewitz 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Labinger and Bercaw 2002; Sarewitz 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Labinger and Bercaw 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Gómez et al. 2011)

About the journal

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

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