Punctum – International Journal of Semiotics

Author Guidelines


Submitting an abstract proposal

  • Abstracts/Keywords: c. 200-300 words with 3-5 relevant keywords.
  • A separate page with author(s) and contact information should include: title of the proposed research article; name of the author(s) and affiliation(s) in the following order: Department, University, Country; contact details (email addresses and phone numbers); brief biographical note(s) (maximum 50 words).
  • All abstract submissions are acknowledged upon receipt by the issue editor(s). Abstracts are evaluated through a double-blind peer review process. Subsequently, and in accordance with the deadline stated in the CfP, authors are notified about the selection or not of their proposal.
  • Acceptance of the abstract proposal does not guarantee publication, given that all research articles go through the journal’s peer review process.

Manuscript Submission – Reviewing process

  • Abstracts/Keywords: c. 150-250 words with 3-5 relevant keywords.
  • All manuscripts must have a separate front page, which should include the title of the research article; name of the author(s) and affiliation(s) in the following order: Department, University, Country; contact details (email addresses and phone numbers); brief biographical note(s) (maximum 50 words).
  • To protect the anonymity of the reviewing process, please make sure that you do not include your name anywhere within the main document (e.g., as a running head, at the end, or as explicit self-citation).
  • All submissions are acknowledged upon receipt by the issue editor(s).
  • Following the completion of the double-blind peer review process, and in accordance with the deadline stated in the CfP, authors receive a composite evaluation report containing the reviewers’ decision and recommendations/comments.
  • Proofs of pre-publication manuscripts will be sent to the authors in order to correct any remaining typesetting errors or inconsistencies. They should be promptly corrected and returned to the issue editor(s) within a week, at the latest. Major alterations to the text cannot be accepted at this stage.
  • Authors are advised to consult the journal’s Code of Ethics, and especially sections 2 & 3 (regarding the editorial/review process) and 4 (Authors’ Standards).

Manuscript length and formatting

Authors are kindly requested to ensure that their manuscript conforms to the journal style before submission. Failure to apply the following guidelines will result in additional rounds of revision and delays in the publication schedule.

  • Research articles should be 6.000-8.000 words, including footnotes but excluding the abstract, keywords, tables, figures, bio and references.
  • All manuscripts (abstracts, research articles, review articles, book/conference reviews) should be written in Times New Roman (12’), prepared in the journal citation style system (for details, see below) and submitted in Word format.
  • All pages should be numbered and double-spaced, with margins of 2.5 cm.
  • Manuscripts should be reasonably divided into appropriately titled sections, and, where necessary, into subsections, with numbered headings.
  • All non-native speakers of English must have their manuscript thoroughly checked by a preferably native professional language editor (see below section for Language Editing Services).


  • All artworks (pictures, paintings, drawings) must be supplied with permissions and/or appropriate attribution.
  • Tables, charts and figures should not be included in the manuscript but submitted as separate files.
  • Tables, charts and figures should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals, accompanied with relevant captions and their position indicated in the manuscript.
  • Captions should be gathered together and typed on a separate page.
  • Photographs and scanned images should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi, line drawings min. 1200 dpi.


  • Quoted material of over 40 words in length should be set out from the text by being indented, with a line space above and below. Indented quotations should not have quotation marks unless they report conversation. The citation to the source should be placed at the end of the quote following the punctuation.
  • Use double smart quotes for dialogue and quoted material in the text.
  • Use single smart quotes for quotes within quotes, as well as to draw attention to certain words or non-standard use of words.
  • Place periods and commas inside quotation marks.
  • Place semicolons and colons outside quotation marks.
  • Place question marks or exclamation points inside the quotation marks if they punctuate the quotation only. However, if the quote does not include a question or exclamation, but the sentence itself is asking a question or exclaiming, the question mark or exclamation point sits outside of the quotation marks.
  • Use bold only for section headings.


  • Authors are requested to use American spellings e.g., use ‘ize’ spellings as opposed to ‘ise’ for words such as ‘organized’, ‘program’ instead of ‘programme’, ‘November 4, 2014’ instead of ‘4 November 2014’, etc.
  • For numbers we recommend using words rather than figures, except when it is a part of a dataset or presented in a table. When referring to a percentage, please use the words ‘per cent’ rather than the symbol %, again except when it is a part of a dataset or presented in a table.
  • Titles in languages other than French, German, English, Spanish and Italian should be translated into English. The translation should be placed in square brackets directly following the italicized original title.


  • Use footnotes rather than endnotes, numbered continuously with Arabic numerals.
  • Do not include web addresses in in-text parenthetical citations.
  • The journal citation style is a simplified version of the ASA style, and requires that sources receive attribution in the text by the use of parenthetical in-text citations. For detailed guidelines please consult the following Table:
If the author’s name is mentioned in the text …Barthes distinguishes between the studium and the punctum (1981).
If the author’s name is not mentioned in the text …it has been argued that photography has a predominantly deictic function (Barthes 1981).
Citation with page numbers …the nature of photography is tautological (Barthes 1981:5).
Multi-authored sources (Greimas and Landowski 1976:18)
(Bailey, Matejka and Steiner 1978)
More than 3 authors (Bailey et al. 1985)
Multiple sources (Barthes 1981; Greimas and Landowski 1979)


  • A list of references should be included at the end of the manuscript starting on a new page and titled References. The list should be alphabetical by surname of author.
  • If multiple works of the same author are being listed, re-type the author’s name for each entry.
  • Please ensure that all entries in the text are mentioned in the References and vice versa.
  • Type the entries according to the following rules:
Book: One Author/Editor Goodman, Nelson 1978. Ways of Worldmaking. Hackett: Indianapolis, IN.
Blonsky, Marshall (ed.) 1985. On Signs. Blackwell: Oxford.
Book: Two Authors/Editors Hodge, Robert and Gunther Kress 1988. Social Semiotics. Oxford: Polity Press.
Macksey, Richard and Eugenio Donato (eds.) 1972. The stucturalist controversy. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
Book: Three or more Authors/ Editors Bailey, R.W., L. Matejka and P. Steiner (eds.) 1978. The Sign. Semiotics around the World. Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Contributions.
Multi-volume works Paul Perron and Frank Collins (eds.) 1989. Paris School Semiotics (Vol. 1-2). Amsterdam: John Benjamins
Ricoeur, Paul 1989. Greimas’s Narrative Grammar. In: Paul Perron and Frank Collins (eds.) Paris School Semiotics. Vol. I: Theory. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 3-31.
Translated books Barthes, Roland 1981[1980]. Camera Lucida. Trans. Richard Howard, New York: Hill and Wang
Chapter in a book Todorov, Tzvetan 1972. Language and Literature. In: Richard Macksey and Eugenio Donato (eds.) The stucturalist controversy. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press,125-133.
Journal article Denzin, Norman 1987. On semiotics and symbolic interactionism. Symbolic Interaction 10 (1): 1-19.
Online journal article (without pagination) Grandjean, Martin 2016. A social network analysis of Twitter: Mapping the digital communities community. Cogent Arts & Humanities 3:1,
Newspaper article Safire, William 2008. The seamy side of semiotics. The New York Times, May 25.
Dissertations Hiippala, Tuomo 2013. Modelling the structure of a multimodal artefact.
Ph.D. thesis, Department of Modern Languages, University of Helsinki.
Institutional Reports World Health Organization 2010. The world health report. Health system financing: the path to universal coverage. Geneva: WHO.

Article Processing Charges (APC)

  • Authors whose articles have been accepted for publication will be asked to pay €80 as processing charge, to cover all publication costs (typesetting, web hosting, indexing etc.). This charge ensures that all of the content is fully open access and allows the journal to be run in a sustainable way.
  • If published, you will receive an invoice stating the Article Processing Charges along with information on how payment is to be made (both bank transfer and PayPal are available).

Language Editing Services

  • All non-native English authors must use the services of a preferably native professional language editor to substantively edit their manuscript, i.e., improve the language structure and style to ensure clear and effective phrasing and the overall natural flow of the text. Authors should specifically request this kind of in-depth editing rather than simple proofreading.
  • Authors who find such professional editorial assistance difficult or too costly can contact the journal’s Managing Editor, who can recommend tried-and-tested language editors who offer their service at especially reduced prices for Punctum’s authors.
  • The journal’s Editorial team is responsible for proofreading all submitted manuscripts to correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, and formatting, as well as ensuring the quality of the artwork and adherence to the journal’s citation style. If submitted manuscripts are found to be seriously substandard in English usage, they will be automatically consigned to a trusted language editor, and authors will be charged extra editorial fees.


It is a condition of acceptance that a contribution has not already appeared in another publication and if accepted it will not be reproduced or translated elsewhere without the written permission of Punctum and appropriate mention of its original publication in Punctum.

Book Reviews & Review Articles

  • Punctum does not actively solicit books from publishers. Books for review should be sent to the Review Editor who is responsible for assigning it to the most appropriate reviewer.
  • Punctum publishes reviews of books published in the last three years, in all major international languages.
  • Review articles should be c. 2.000 – 3.000 words and provide a thorough treatment either of a single important book, or a series of books on a particular topic, or a more sweeping overview of a particular research field or emergent area.
  • Book reviews should be c. 800-2.000 words and are normally solicited by the Review Editor.
  • If you wish to review for Punctum you should contact the Review Editor providing your biographical details and information on the proposed book(s).
  • Reviews are not blind-refereed and their acceptance is at the Review Editor’s discretion. Their publication depends on the publication schedule, but under no circumstance will it exceed 12 months after their submission.
  • Reviewers are asked to provide a suitable title to their text and, immediately after that, set out the publication and reviewer data as follows:
    Mikhail Baxtin and his dialogic universe
    Baxtin, Mikhail Mikhailovich 1981. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Ed. by Michael Holquist, trans. by Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin and London: University of Texas Press, 444 pp. $ 35.99 (pbk, ISBN 0-292-71534-X), $ 65 (hbk, ISBN 0-292-71527-7).
    Krystyna Pomorska
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