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
Schein, L. B. 2007. Applied physics. Recent progress and continuing puzzles in electrostatics. Science (New York, N.Y.) 316: 1572–1573.
A journal article with 2 authors
Keeling, M. J., and C. A. Gilligan. 2000. Metapopulation dynamics of bubonic plague. Nature 407: 903–906.
A journal article with 3 authors
Grenier, Isabelle A., Jean-Marc Casandjian, and Régis Terrier. 2005. Unveiling extensive clouds of dark gas in the solar neighborhood. Science (New York, N.Y.) 307: 1292–1295.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Liu, Y., Y. Zadorozhny, M. M. Rosario, B. Y. Rock, P. T. Carrigan, and H. Wang. 2001. Destruction of the global phase coherence in ultrathin, doubly connected superconducting cylinders. Science (New York, N.Y.) 294: 2332–2334.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Pesavento, Larry, and Shane Smoleny. 2015. A Trader’s Guide to Financial Astrology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Nakagami, Ken’ichi, Jumpei Kubota, and Budi Indra Setiawan, ed. 2016. Sustainable Water Management: New Perspectives, Design, and Practices. Singapore: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Gorlewski, Julie A., and David A. Gorlewski. 2012. Standard #3. In Making it Real: Case Stories for Secondary Teachers, ed. Julie A. Gorlewski and David A. Gorlewski, 39–49. Rotterdam: SensePublishers.

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
Luntz, Stephen. 2016. North Korean Volcano Released Astonishing Amounts Of Sulfur, And Might Again. IFLScience. IFLScience. November 30.


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. 2015. Motor Carrier Safety: Improvements to Data-Driven Oversight Could Better Target High Risk Carriers. GAO-15-433T. 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
Scott, Evelyn. 2013. Effects of cultural nutritional education among Hispanic women with diabetes. Doctoral dissertation, Long Beach, CA: California State University, Long Beach.

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
Vecsey, George. 2010. A Coach’s Mistake, a Teaching Moment. New York Times, May 5.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Schein 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Keeling and Gilligan 2000; Schein 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Keeling and Gilligan 2000)
  • Three or more authors: (Liu et al. 2001)

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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