How to format your references using the Natural Language Semantics citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Natural Language Semantics. 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
Paytan, Adina. 2012. Geochemistry. Mountains, weathering, and climate. Science (New York, N.Y.) 335: 810–811.
A journal article with 2 authors
Gweon, Hyowon, and Laura Schulz. 2011. 16-month-olds rationally infer causes of failed actions. Science (New York, N.Y.) 332: 1524.
A journal article with 3 authors
Weisz, Catherine, Elisabeth Glowatzki, and Paul Fuchs. 2009. The postsynaptic function of type II cochlear afferents. Nature 461: 1126–1129.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Atkinson, Lucy, Carol J. Milligan, Noel J. Buckley, and Jim Deuchars. 2002. An ATP-gated ion channel at the cell nucleus. Nature 420: 42.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Yoder, Claude H., Phyllis A. Leber, and Marcus W. Thomsen. 2010. The Bridge to Organic Chemistry. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Safford-Ramus, Katherine. 2016. The Troika of Adult Learners, Lifelong Learning, and Mathematics: Learning from Research, Current Paradoxes, Tensions and Promotional Strategies. Edited by Pradeep Kumar Misra and Terry Maguire. ICME-13 Topical Surveys. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Everly, George S., and Jeffrey M. Lating. 2013. Stress-Related Disease: A Review. In A Clinical Guide to the Treatment of the Human Stress Response, ed. Jeffrey M. Lating, 67–102. New York, NY: 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 Natural Language Semantics.

Blog post
Andrew, Elise. 2015. Chimps Use Spears To Hunt. IFLScience. IFLScience. April 16.


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. Education and Employment Issue Area: Active Assignments. AA-95-17(3). 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
Jenkins, Danielle. 2017. Leadership Best Practices for Female Executives in the Information Technology Industry. Doctoral dissertation, Malibu, CA: Pepperdine University.

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
de la MERCED, Michael J. 2017. A Sports Betting App Raises $12 Million. New York Times, May 15.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Paytan 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Gweon and Schulz 2011; Paytan 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Gweon and Schulz 2011)
  • Three or more authors: (Atkinson et al. 2002)

About the journal

Full journal titleNatural Language Semantics
AbbreviationNat. Lang. Semant.
ISSN (print)0925-854X
ISSN (online)1572-865X
Linguistics and Language

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