Cover of The American Journal of Semiotics

The American Journal of Semiotics


The American Journal of Semiotics publishes topical articles, response articles or comments, and critical reviews. There are no methodological restrictions but all contributions must combine a rigorous standard of scholarly research with the appropriate application of a semiotic theory and method relevant to the author's chosen subject matter.

The Semiotic Society of America has its own style sheet for its publications. Authors should refer to this style sheet when preparing manuscripts for submission.

A principle unique to the SSA Style Sheet - the principle of the historical layering of sources - is explained below.

Format Requirements

  • Manuscripts are to be prepared for blind-review, with a separate cover sheet with the author's name and contact information. Manuscripts should be double-spaced throughout the 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. Manuscripts may be divided as appropriate into sections with headings, not numbers alone. All pages of the manuscript are to have the title of the manuscript and the page number. Single quotes are to be used within double quotes; brackets within parentheses; single underlining or italics for emphasized expressions.

  • Line drawings (called “Figures” in the text) and photographs (glossies, not negatives; also called “Figures” in the text) are to be reproducible originals submitted on separate sheets, carefully numbered and labeled. Captions are to be typed on a separate sheet and placed at the end of the manuscript.

  • 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 an absolute minimum, and footnoted using the word processing software. If the software does not allow footnotes, then include the notes on a separate page (double-spaced throughout) at the end of the text file, but before the References.

  • References are to add to the current scientific practice the refinement of historical layering. That is to say, references should be cited in the text by giving, all within parentheses: the name of the author(s) and the year according to which the work cited from called the source work is properly located within the lifetime of the author who produced it, followed by a colon, a space, and the specific page number(s) of the actual volume according to which the citation is made the access volume when these are called for.

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 this 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 according to which the source work is properly located within the lifetime of the author who produced it, followed by a colon, a space, and the specific page number(s) of the actual volume according to which the citation is made the access volume when these are called for.

Note that these are called for whenever the work referred to is adduced to support some specific claim even in the absence of a quotationIncluding 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.

Reference List

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 - is given in the list of references at the end of the manuscript. This list is to be arranged alphabetically by last name of authors, all in capital letters.

Submission Procedure

All submissions and inquiries should be sent by email to the Editor-in-Chief:

Publications Ethics Statement

The editorial team of the The American Journal of Semiotics is committed to ensuring the integrity of the publication process. Conformance to standards of ethical behavior is therefore expected of all parties involved: Authors, Editors, Reviewers, and the Publisher.

Authors should present an objective discussion of the significance of research work as well as sufficient detail and references to permit others to confirm a chain of reasoning or experimental result. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable. Review articles should also be objective, comprehensive, and accurate accounts of the state of the art. The author(s) should ensure that their work is original and that any previously published passages, along with the work or words of others, have been appropriately acknowledged if used in the manuscript. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable. Authors should not submit articles describing essentially the same research to more than one journal. The corresponding author should ensure that there is a full consensus of all co-authors in approving the final version of the paper and its submission for publication.

Editors should evaluate manuscripts exclusively on the basis of their academic merit. An editor must not use unpublished information in the editor's own research without the express written consent of the author. Editors should take reasonable responsive measures when ethical complaints have been presented concerning a submitted manuscript or published paper.

Reviewers must treat received manuscripts as confidential documents. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. Reviews should be conducted objectively, and observations should be formulated clearly with supporting arguments, so that authors can use them for improving the paper. Any selected referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify the editor and excuse himself from the review process. Reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the paper.

The Publisher will respond to alleged or proven cases of research misconduct, fraudulent publication, or plagiarism in close collaboration with the editors. The publisher will ensure that appropriate measures are taken to clarify the situation and to amend the article in question if necessary. This may include the publication of an erratum, clarification or, in the most severe case, the retraction of the affected work. The publisher, together with the editors, shall take reasonable steps to identify and prevent publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred, and under no circumstances encourage such misconduct or knowingly allow such misconduct to take place.