André De Tienne, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief
Baranna Baker, M.A., Assistant Editor
The American Journal of Semiotics is a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary research publication sponsored by the Semiotic Society of America. It publishes original contributions in the form of topical articles, response articles, and critical reviews on any subject related to the science of signs and meaning, whether theoretical, methodological, or applied. Open to all semiotic traditions, the journal expects submissions to make advances in fundamental sign theory, or to leverage semiotic methodologies for interpretive exploration of communication processes throughout the semiotic sphere, whether physical, logical, biological, physiological, ecological, phenomenological, psychological, anthropological, sociological, political, philosophical, theological, cosmological, or any such modes in combination.
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The Semiotic Society of America has its own style sheet for its publications. Authors should refer to the SSA Style Sheet when preparing manuscripts for submission, keeping in mind that submission standards have evolved since its 1986 publication toward the electronic medium. A brief version of the style sheet is also available for reference.
The principle unique to the SSA Style Sheet – the principle of the historical layering of sources – is explained below.
- Manuscripts are to be submitted electronically in standard word processing format (.rtf, .doc, .docx and .odt formats are acceptable) with an accompanying pdf file for verification of formatting. Text, notes and references, with at least 1 inch top, bottom, and right margins, using 11 point type size for text, 10 point for extracts (block quotes) and the list of References, and 9 point for notes.
- Authors need to provide an abstract of no more than 150 words that summarizes the aims and trajectory followed throughout their work as well as a comma-separated list of keywords. Both are typed in 9 point type size before the beginning of the main text.
- Manuscripts may be divided as appropriate into numbered sections with headings, not numbers alone. All pages of the manuscript are to have the last name of the author and the page number in the header. Single quotes are to be used within double quotes; brackets within parentheses; single underlining but preferably italics for emphasized expressions. Only verbatim materials should be placed in quotes. If punctuation is not part of the original material, it should be placed outside of the quotation.
- Authors should not over-format submissions and particularly not try to mimic TAJS’s typesetting: that is done by PDC typesetters using Adobe InDesign, which is not compatible with MS Word format. Keep everything left-justified, and use the tab key to indent paragraphs.
- Illustrations, graphics, and photographs (referred to as “Figures” in the text) are to be reproducible originals (.jpeg or .png), all carefully numbered and labeled with captions, and embedded on separate pages at the end of the electronic file. Their optimal placement should be indicated in the text with the phrase “Insert Figure # here.”
- Tables should be numbered consecutively and titled, and must be referred to in the Text. Avoid referring to the ‘preceding’ or ‘following’ table, since the original position may be shifted in the final camera-ready preparation.
- Notes should be kept to a minimum and footnoted using the word processing software. If the software does not allow footnotes, type the notes on a separate page included at the end of the electronic file but before the References.
Style Guide Standard
Regarding all other stylistic, grammatical, and syntactical matters not discussed in the SSA Style Sheet, The American Journal of Semiotics has adopted (as of June 2021) the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition, as its standard set of guidelines. TAJS editors will conform any text accepted for publication to CMOS recommendations, except for matters related either to bibliographical citations and references or to the placement of punctuation marks relative to quotation marks, the two matters regulated by the SSA Style Sheet. Authors are encouraged to consult CMOS 17 whenever in doubt about style, syntax, grammar, and punctuation.
Principle of Historical Layering
This principle is the essence of the SSA Style Sheet. References are to add to current scientific bibliographical practice the refinement of historical layering. Authors should pay explicit and systematic attention to the distinction between source works (original writings, whether extant or not) and access works (consulted manuscript copies or publications) in their articles.
Application of this principle entails that all references within the text should be cited by giving, all within parentheses: the name of the author(s) and the year or year-range corresponding to the source work’s time of composition within the lifetime of its author(s), followed by a colon, a space, and the specific page number(s) of the actual access volume according to which the citation is made. Note that citations are called for whenever the work or text referred to is paraphrased or adduced to support some specific claim even in the absence of a quotation. Including page numbers (or at the very least a particular chapter or section number) should therefore be the default practice and seen as an indispensable scholarly service to readers.
Where source work and access volume differ, the relation of the two including any discrepancy of dates and publishers, and mediator between source and access where there is the added discrepancy of language (i.e., the special case of translations), and whatever additional information or glosses seem useful are given in the list of references at the end of the manuscript. That list is to be arranged alphabetically by last name of authors, all in capital letters.
Manuscripts should be submitted by email to the editor-in-chief: Professor André De Tienne, Indiana University Indianapolis.
Authors are encouraged to provide in their email a statement that (1) stresses the significance and strength of the research they have accomplished, and (2) explains the reason why they believe their manuscript is a good fit for the journal. Unless invited to do so, authors may not submit more than one paper at a time within the same review cycle.
Authors are also strongly advised to study the journal’s peer review guidelines in order to understand TAJS’s reviewing process and the criteria that guide reviewers’ evaluation of submissions.