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
Grayson, Michelle. 2012. Psoriasis. Nature 492: S49.
A journal article with 2 authors
Conte, Maureen H., and John C. Weber. 2002. Plant biomarkers in aerosols record isotopic discrimination of terrestrial photosynthesis. Nature 417: 639–641.
A journal article with 3 authors
McGaha, Tracy L., Brian Sorrentino, and Jeffrey V. Ravetch. 2005. Restoration of tolerance in lupus by targeted inhibitory receptor expression. Science (New York, N.Y.) 307: 590–593.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Turner, John, John C. King, Tom A. Lachlan-Cope, and Phil D. Jones. 2002. Recent temperature trends in the Antarctic. Nature 418: 291–2; discussion 292.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Equipment Testing Procedures Committee. 2007. Positive Displacement Pumps. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Bogdan, Boris. 2008. Valuation in Life Sciences: A Practical Guide. Edited by Ralph Villiger. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Beeldens, Anne, Luigi Cassar, and Yoshihiko Murata. 2011. Applications of TiO2 Photocatalysis for Air Purification. In Applications of Titanium Dioxide Photocatalysis to Construction Materials: State-of-the-Art Report of the RILEM Technical Committee 194-TDP, ed. Yoshihiko Ohama and Dionys Van Gemert, 23–35. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

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. Artificial Proteins Could Bring The Next Biological Revolution – Starting With MRI. IFLScience. IFLScience. February 13.


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. 1987. Radio Frequencies: Earlier Coordination Could Improve System Use and Save Costs. NSIAD-87-42. 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
Luvani, Kuldeep D. 2017. AIRtouch: An Intelligent Virtual Keyboard. 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
Dynarski, Susan. 2016. 왜 영재반에서는 흑인과 히스패닉 학생을 보기 힘들까? New York Times, June 8.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Grayson 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Conte and Weber 2002; Grayson 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Conte and Weber 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Turner 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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