How to format your references using the Contemporary Social Science citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Contemporary Social Science. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Greene, M. (2001). A tool, not a tyrant. Nature, 410(6831), 875.
A journal article with 2 authors
Swetter, S. M., & Geller, A. C. (2014). Perspective: catch melanoma early. Nature, 515(7527), S117.
A journal article with 3 authors
Efeyan, A., Comb, W. C., & Sabatini, D. M. (2015). Nutrient-sensing mechanisms and pathways. Nature, 517(7534), 302–310.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Higuchi, M., Maas, S., Single, F. N., Hartner, J., Rozov, A., Burnashev, N., Feldmeyer, D., Sprengel, R., & Seeburg, P. H. (2000). Point mutation in an AMPA receptor gene rescues lethality in mice deficient in the RNA-editing enzyme ADAR2. Nature, 406(6791), 78–81.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chaudhry, A., Coetsee, D., Bakker, E., Varughese, S., McIlwaine, S., Fuller, C., Rands, E., de Vos, N., Longmore, S., & Balasubramanian, T. V. (2014). 2015 Interpretation and Application of International Financial Reporting Standards. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Barjolle, D., Gorton, M., Milošević Đorđević, J., & Stojanović, Ž. (Eds.). (2013). Food Consumer Science: Theories, Methods and Application to the Western Balkans. Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Ritter, S. (2010). Riding the Third Wave. In V. Aleven, J. Kay, & J. Mostow (Eds.), Intelligent Tutoring Systems: 10th International Conference, ITS 2010, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, June 14-18, 2010, Proceedings, Part I (pp. 4–4). 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 Contemporary Social Science.

Blog post
Luntz, S. (2014, June 10). 55 Year Old Mystery About The Dark Side Of The Moon Solved. 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. (2010). For-Profit Schools: Large Schools and Schools that Specialize in Healthcare Are More Likely to Rely Heavily on Federal Student Aid (GAO-11-4). 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
Tom, D. M. (2012). Impact on achievement with ST math after school instruction [Doctoral dissertation]. California State University, Long Beach.

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
Pilon, M. (2014, September 20). U.S.T.A. Faces Suit Over Sabbath Schedule. New York Times, D4.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Greene, 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Greene, 2001; Swetter & Geller, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Swetter & Geller, 2014)
  • Three authors: (Efeyan et al., 2015)
  • 6 or more authors: (Higuchi et al., 2000)

About the journal

Full journal titleContemporary Social Science
AbbreviationContemp. Soc. Sci.
ISSN (print)2158-2041
ISSN (online)2158-205X
General Social Sciences

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