How to format your references using the Social Semiotics citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Social Semiotics. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Knutson, Brian. 2004. “Behavior. Sweet Revenge?” Science (New York, N.Y.) 305 (5688): 1246–1247.
A journal article with 2 authors
Showalter, M. R., and D. P. Hamilton. 2015. “Resonant Interactions and Chaotic Rotation of Pluto’s Small Moons.” Nature 522 (7554): 45–49.
A journal article with 3 authors
McAlonan, Kerry, James Cavanaugh, and Robert H. Wurtz. 2008. “Guarding the Gateway to Cortex with Attention in Visual Thalamus.” Nature 456 (7220): 391–394.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Pang, Wei-Wei, Ping Zhang, Guang-Cai Zhang, Ai-Guo Xu, and Xian-Geng Zhao. 2014. “Dislocation Creation and Void Nucleation in FCC Ductile Metals under Tensile Loading: A General Microscopic Picture.” Scientific Reports 4 (November): 6981.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Suárez, Almudena. 2008. Analysis and Design of Autonomous Microwave Circuits. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Lee, Sukhan, Il Hong Suh, and Mun Sang Kim, eds. 2008. Recent Progress in Robotics: Viable Robotic Service to Human: An Edition of the Selected Papers from the 13th International Conference on Advanced Robotics. Vol. 370. Lecture Notes in Control and Information Sciences. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Parida, Satya, Emmanuel Couacy-Hymann, Robert A. Pope, Mana Mahapatra, Medhi El Harrak, Joe Brownlie, and Ashley C. Banyard. 2015. “Pathology of Peste Des Petits Ruminants.” In Peste Des Petits Ruminants Virus, edited by Muhammad Munir, 51–67. 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 Social Semiotics.

Blog post
Hale, Tom. 2016. “Giraffes Face ‘Silent Extinction’ As Numbers Drop 40 Percent In 30 Years.” IFLScience. IFLScience.


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. School Meals: USDA Could Improve Verification Process for Program Access. GAO-15-634T. 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
Schoenecker, Kathleen D. 2010. “Determinants of Life Satisfaction: Generated and Ranked by Undergraduate College Students.” Doctoral dissertation, Bloomington, IN: Indiana 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
Nir, Sarah Maslin. 2017. “Fire’s Death Toll: ‘5 Amazing People Full of Life,’ the Oldest of Them 20.” New York Times, April 24.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Knutson 2004).
This sentence cites two references (Knutson 2004; Showalter and Hamilton 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Showalter and Hamilton 2015)
  • Three authors: (McAlonan, Cavanaugh, and Wurtz 2008)
  • 4 or more authors: (Pang et al. 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleSocial Semiotics
ISSN (print)1035-0330
ISSN (online)1470-1219
ScopeLanguage and Linguistics
Linguistics and Language
Cultural Studies

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