Instructions for Authors

Manuscript Submission and Review

To submit a manuscript for consideration, please send an electronic file (formatted in MS Word) via the Signs and Society online submission website. The menu will prompt the author to create an account, then log in and provide all necessary information, including the manuscript category, contact information for the corresponding author (phone number, fax number, e-mail address), and suggested reviewers. The website will automatically acknowledge receipt of the manuscript and provide a reference number. The editor will assign the manuscript to anonymous reviewers, and every effort will be made to provide the author with a review in a timely fashion.


Submit the text of the manuscript as a MS Word file, along with a separate cover letter (also in Word); if there are figures, upload them as individual image files (see below, Appendixes, Tables, and Figures). The cover letter should state that all authors have read and approved the submission of the manuscript, that the manuscript has not been published elsewhere, and that it is not currently under consideration for publication by another journal. Include the names and contact information for any individuals who are especially qualified to review the manuscript; you may also name any individuals who may not be able to provide an unbiased review.

Author Anonymity

Because manuscripts are evaluated anonymously, they should not bear the author's name or institutional affiliation. Please remove from the manuscript all references or acknowledgements that might indicate the identity of the author. However, the author’s name and other identifying information may appear in the cover letter and will be required in the post-peer-reviewed, final submitted article.

Copyright Transfer Agreement

A copyright transfer agreement, with certain specified rights reserved by the author, must be signed and returned to the editor by the author prior to publication of the accepted manuscript. Papers with multiple authors are reviewed with the assumption that all authors concur with its submission, and the copyright transfer agreement must be signed by all authors prior to publication of the accepted manuscript.

Length and Abstract

The normal length of published manuscripts is 8,000–11,000 words. All article submissions should include an abstract of 100–150 words.

Copyediting and Page Proofs

The publisher will copyedit and proofread all articles accepted for publication. Page proofs of an article will be provided to the corresponding author for correction of typographical errors only; the corresponding author must notify the publisher of any changes within 72 hours of receipt of the proof.


Type subheads on a new line, flush left, using upper- and lowercase letters. In general, use no more than three levels of headings.


The following guidance from the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed., may be helpful: "A lower-level subhead may follow an upper-level subhead with no intervening text, but when a section of text is subdivided, there should ordinarily be at least two subsections. A single subhead . . . or a single B-level subhead under an A-level subhead may be viewed as illogical and asymmetrical" (28).


1. In-Text References

Submissions should follow the author-date system of documentation as outlined in the Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed., chap. 15). The journal office may request full revision of manuscripts not meeting the Chicago Manual of Style requirements for documentation.


Simple citations of works are given in the text in chronological order by enclosing the author's last name and the year of publication in parentheses—for example, (Friedman 2003)—and are linked to a reference list at the end of the article. Specific page or section citations follow the date, preceded by a comma: (Friedman 2003, 96). Other examples are as follows: for dual authorship of a single work, (Newman and Principle 2002); for three or more authors of a single work, (Koehlstedt et al. 1999); for two works by the same author, (McMullin 1985, 1990); for two works by different authors, (Westfall 1977; Burian 1980); for reprints, Hume [1740] 1978).

2. Footnotes

Footnotes are used for material commenting on or adding to the text, and should also be used for archival materials, unpublished interviews, or other sources that do not have a clear author or publication date or that for any reason would be difficult to include in an author-date reference list.


Citations of websites are often included in footnotes as well; access dates should not generally be included:


Commens Dictionary of Peirce’s Terms, s.v. semiosis," /commens/terms/semiosis.html.


Any author-date citations contained in footnotes should be styled as they would in the main text.


All footnotes begin at the bottom of the page on which they are referenced.


Acknowledgments are included in a first unnumbered footnote on the first page of an article.

3. Reference List

Full documentation appears in a reference list. This list should include all works cited in the text, including citations in footnotes. List works alphabetically by author and, under author, by year of publication. References not cited in the text should not appear in the reference list.


Include a blank line between each reference list entry.

Book, one author/editor

Oswald, Laura R. 2012. Marketing Semiotics: Signs, Strategies, and Brand Value. New York: Oxford University Press.


Sebeok, Thomas A. 1979. The Sign and Its Masters. Austin: University of Texas Press.


Talmy, Leonard. 2000. Toward a Cognitive Semantics, vol. 1, Concept Structuring Systems. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


Untermeyer, Louis, ed. 1964. Modern American Poetry. New York: Harcourt, Brace.

Book, multiple authors/editors

Harris, Roy, and Talbot J. Taylor. 1989. Landmarks in Linguistic Thought: The Western Tradition from Socrates to Saussure. London: Routledge.


Bradley, Sculley, Richmond Croom Beatty, and E. Hudson Long, eds. 1967. The American Tradition in Literature. 3rd ed. New York: Norton.


Hume, David. (1740) 1978. A Treatise of Human Nature. 2nd ed. Ed. P. H. Nidditch. Repr. Oxford: Clarendon.


Pedersen, Holger. (1931) 1962. The Discovery of Language: Linguistic Science in the 19th Century. Trans. John Webster. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Book chapter

Dewell, Robert B. 1997. "Construal Transformations: Internal and External Viewpoints in Interpreting Containment." In Lexical and Syntactical Constructions and the Construction of Meaning, ed. Marjolijn Verspoor, Kee Dong Lee, and Eve Sweetser, 17–32. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Journal article

Rao, Chaitra, Shweta Soni, and Nandini Chatterjee Singh. 2012. "The Case of the Neglected Alphasyllabary: Orthographic Processing in Devanagari." Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35 (5): 302–3.

Multiple works by single author

Parmentier, Richard. 2002. "Money Walks, People Talk: Systemic and Transactional Dimensions of Palauan Exchange." L'Homme 162 (1): 49-80.


 ———. 2005. "Description and Comparison of Religion." History of Religions 43 (3): 233–45.

Online journal

Dingemanse, Mark. 2012. "Coerced Iconicity in Writing and Speech." SemiotiX New Series: A Global Information Bulletin, no. 8,


Barthes, Roland. 1972. Mythologies. Trans. Annette Lavers. London: Paladin.


Lavoisier, Antoine-Laurent. 1965. The Elements of Chemistry. Trans. Robert Kerr. New York: Dover. Originally published as Traité Élémentaire de Chimie (Paris, 1793).

Appendixes, Tables, and Figures

Include appendixes and tables in the manuscript file following the reference list. Each appendix and table should start on a new page. Prepare tables using the MS Word table editor (i.e., do not use tabs or hard returns).


Figures must be submitted electronically as separate TIFF or EPS files at 100% of a suitable final size. (All original charts, graphs, or other artwork must be professionally rendered and computer generated).


Appendixes, tables, and figures are numbered consecutively (app. A, app. B, table 1, table 2, fig. 1, fig. 2, etc.) and are called out in order in the run of text (i.e., table 1 would be mentioned before table 2).

Terms, Translations, and Emphasis

Use double quotation marks when first citing an author's analytical terms, as Peirce's concept of "infinite semiosis." Note that double quotation marks are changed to single quotation marks for quotes or terms within quotations, e.g., "containing a 'secret' meaning."


Glosses should be enclosed in single quotation marks immediately following the term they define, with no intervening punctuation: praxis 'practice'. Any following  punctuation (here, a period) is placed after  the closing quotation mark.


Use italics for words in foreign languages that are not part of regular English usage:


the Greek term sēmeion.


Use italics for citing linguistic forms qua forms in any language:


the English word speech doesn’t sound like the French word parole.


Use italics for rhetorical emphasis very sparingly and in general avoid using "scare" quotes for figurative usage.