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
Dholakia, Kishan. 2009. “Journal Club. An Optical Physicist Sees beyond Fluorescent Labels.” Nature 457 (7233): 1061.
A journal article with 2 authors
Georgianna, D. Ryan, and Stephen P. Mayfield. 2012. “Exploiting Diversity and Synthetic Biology for the Production of Algal Biofuels.” Nature 488 (7411): 329–335.
A journal article with 3 authors
Yao, Lei, Lei Xi, and Huabei Jiang. 2014. “Photoacoustic Computed Microscopy.” Scientific Reports 4 (May): 4960.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Caudy, Amy A., René F. Ketting, Scott M. Hammond, Ahmet M. Denli, Anja M. P. Bathoorn, Bastiaan B. J. Tops, Jose M. Silva, Mike M. Myers, Gregory J. Hannon, and Ronald H. A. Plasterk. 2003. “A Micrococcal Nuclease Homologue in RNAi Effector Complexes.” Nature 425 (6956): 411–414.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Schlechty, Phillip C. 2009. Leading for Learning. San Francisco, CA, USA: Jossey-Bass.
An edited book
Weichold, Mark, Mounir Hamdi, Muhammad Zeeshan Shakir, Mohamed Abdallah, George K. Karagiannidis, and Muhammad Ismail, eds. 2015. Cognitive Radio Oriented Wireless Networks: 10th International Conference, CROWNCOM 2015, Doha, Qatar, April 21-23, 2015, Revised Selected Papers. Vol. 156. Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Jiang, Guosheng, Liyong Diao, and Ken Kuang. 2013. “Properties of WCu, MoCu, and Cu/MoCu/Cu High-Performance Heat Sink Materials and Manufacturing Technologies.” In Advanced Thermal Management Materials, edited by Liyong Diao and Ken Kuang, 73–87. New York, NY: 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
Andrew, Elise. 2014. “Chemist Demonstrates Liquid Nitrogen Edition of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.” 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. 1988. ADP Systems: FDA Can Reduce Development Risks for Its Import Information System. IMTEC-88-42. 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
Robertson, Oriana. 2014. “Gender and Crew Resource Management: A Phenomenological Qualitative Study.” 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
Shpigel, Ben. 2015. “The Undoing of a Quiet Jet.” New York Times, August 15.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Dholakia 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Dholakia 2009; Georgianna and Mayfield 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Georgianna and Mayfield 2012)
  • Three authors: (Yao, Xi, and Jiang 2014)
  • 4 or more authors: (Caudy et al. 2003)

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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