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
Bevan, Michael J. 2007. Immunology. The cutting edge of T cell selection. Science (New York, N.Y.) 316: 1291–1292.
A journal article with 2 authors
Postma, Erik, and Arie J. van Noordwijk. 2005. Gene flow maintains a large genetic difference in clutch size at a small spatial scale. Nature 433: 65–68.
A journal article with 3 authors
Rees, Martin, Ben Koppelman, and Neil Davison. 2010. Scientific steps to nuclear disarmament. Nature 465: 290–291.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Mulitza, Stefan, David Heslop, Daniela Pittauerova, Helmut W. Fischer, Inka Meyer, Jan-Berend Stuut, Matthias Zabel, et al. 2010. Increase in African dust flux at the onset of commercial agriculture in the Sahel region. Nature 466: 226–228.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
J.G. Upton, Graham. 2016. Categorical Data Analysis by Example. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Antoniac, Iulian Vasile, ed. 2016. Handbook of Bioceramics and Biocomposites. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Duvernoy, Henri, Françoise Cattin, and Pierre-Yves Risold. 2013. Anatomy. In The Human Hippocampus: Functional Anatomy, Vascularization and Serial Sections with MRI, ed. Francoise Cattin and Pierre-Yves Risold, 39–68. 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 Natural Language Semantics.

Blog post
Andrew, Elise. 2015. New Species Of Anglerfish Discovered. IFLScience. IFLScience. August 8.


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. 2010. Federal Transit Programs: Federal Transit Administration Has Opportunities to Improve Performance Accountability. GAO-11-54. 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
Anthony, Peter John. 2008. Determining courses of action for educational leaders to achieve Adequate Yearly Progress. Doctoral dissertation, Phoenix, AZ: University of Phoenix.

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
Williams, John. 2016. Together Again, for Now: Hold Steady in Brooklyn. New York Times, December 2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Bevan 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Postma and van Noordwijk 2005; Bevan 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Postma and van Noordwijk 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (Mulitza et al. 2010)

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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