How to format your references using the Language in Society citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Language in Society. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Modugno, Giovanni (2009). Physics. Universal few-body binding. Science (New York, N.Y.) 326(5960):1640–41.
A journal article with 2 authors
Sakaguchi, Shimon & Powrie, Fiona (2007). Emerging challenges in regulatory T cell function and biology. Science (New York, N.Y.) 317(5838):627–29.
A journal article with 3 authors
Barnett, T. P.; Pierce, D. W.; & Schnur, R. (2001). Detection of anthropogenic climate change in the world’s oceans. Science (New York, N.Y.) 292(5515):270–74.
A journal article with 10 or more authors
Dai, Zhijun; Liu, James T.; Wei, Wen; & Chen, Jiyu (2014). Detection of the Three Gorges Dam influence on the Changjiang (Yangtze River) submerged delta. Scientific reports 4:6600.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Stenning, Alison; Smith, Adrian; Rochovská, Alena; & Świa̧tek, Dariusz (2010). Domesticating Neo-Liberalism. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
An edited book
de Graaf, Coen (2016). Magnetic Interactions in Molecules and Solids, 1st ed. 2016., Ria Broer (ed.). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Aziz, Azizi A.; Klein, Michel C. A.; & Treur, Jan (2011). Intelligent Configuration of Social Support Networks Around Depressed Persons. In Mor Peleg, Nada Lavrač, & Carlo Combi (eds.), Artificial Intelligence in Medicine: 13th Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, AIME 2011, Bled, Slovenia, July 2-6, 2011. Proceedings, 24–34.Lecture Notes in Computer Science. 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 Language in Society.

Blog post
Hamilton, Kristy (2016). Health Check: What Are The Risks Of Drinking Before You Know You’re Pregnant? IFLScience. Online:; 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 (2009). Motor Carrier Safety: Reincarnating Commercial Vehicle Companies Pose Safety Threat to Motoring Public; Federal Safety Agency Has Initiated Efforts to Prevent Future Occurrences. 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
Savvas, Catherine (2010). Hydroclimate variability and landuse effects on nutrient export from watersheds in the mid-Atlantic United States. Doctoral dissertation. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina.

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
Beschloss, Michael (2017). The Buck Shouldn’t Stop Here. New York Times BR8.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Modugno 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Modugno 2009; Sakaguchi & Powrie 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Sakaguchi & Powrie 2007)
  • Three authors: (Barnett, Pierce, & Schnur 2001)
  • 5 or more authors: (Dai, Liu, Wei, & Chen 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleLanguage in Society
AbbreviationLang. Soc.
ISSN (print)0047-4045
ISSN (online)1469-8013
ScopeLanguage and Linguistics
Linguistics and Language
Sociology and Political Science

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