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
Reif, John H. 2011. Biochemistry. Scaling up DNA computation. Science (New York, N.Y.) 332: 1156–1157.
A journal article with 2 authors
Pomerantz, Richard T., and Mike O’Donnell. 2008. The replisome uses mRNA as a primer after colliding with RNA polymerase. Nature 456: 762–766.
A journal article with 3 authors
Park, Chan Young, Aleksandr Shcheglovitov, and Ricardo Dolmetsch. 2010. The CRAC channel activator STIM1 binds and inhibits L-type voltage-gated calcium channels. Science (New York, N.Y.) 330: 101–105.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Gu, Meng, Xing-Cheng Xiao, Gao Liu, Suntharampillai Thevuthasan, Donald R. Baer, Ji-Guang Zhang, Jun Liu, Nigel D. Browning, and Chong-Min Wang. 2014. Mesoscale origin of the enhanced cycling-stability of the Si-conductive polymer anode for Li-ion batteries. Scientific reports 4: 3684.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Reed, Sandra M., and Hrci. 2017. The HRCI Official Body of Knowledge. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Martinovic, Dragana, Viktor Freiman, and Zekeriya Karadag, ed. 2013. Visual Mathematics and Cyberlearning. Vol. 1. Mathematics Education in the Digital Era. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Kern, Thorsten A., and Christian Hatzfeld. 2014. Identification of Requirements. In Engineering Haptic Devices: A Beginner’s Guide, ed. Christian Hatzfeld and Thorsten A. Kern, 145–167. Springer Series on Touch and Haptic Systems. London: 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
O`Callaghan, Jonathan. 2017. Check Out These Amazing Photos Of SpaceX’s Latest Super-Accurate Rocket Landing. IFLScience. IFLScience. January 19.


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. 2016. Vehicle Safety: Enhanced Project Management of New Information Technology Could Help Improve NHTSA’s Oversight of Safety Defects. GAO-16-312. 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
Schwartz, Jeremy. 2009. Essays on unemployment insurance and the business cycle. Doctoral dissertation, Washington, DC: George Washington 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
Scheiber, Noam. 2016. Fight for $15 Widens Focus. New York Times, November 29.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Reif 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Pomerantz and O’Donnell 2008; Reif 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Pomerantz and O’Donnell 2008)
  • Three or more authors: (Gu et al. 2014)

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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