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
Verrijzer, C. P. (2001). Transcription factor IID--not so basal after all. Science (New York, N.Y.), 293(5537), 2010–2011.
A journal article with 2 authors
Boyd, P. W., & Mackie, D. (2008). Comment on “The Southern Ocean biological response to aeolian iron deposition.” Science (New York, N.Y.), 319(5860), 159; author reply 159.
A journal article with 3 authors
von Melchner, L., Pallas, S. L., & Sur, M. (2000). Visual behaviour mediated by retinal projections directed to the auditory pathway. Nature, 404(6780), 871–876.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Ebina, H., Misawa, N., Kanemura, Y., & Koyanagi, Y. (2013). Harnessing the CRISPR/Cas9 system to disrupt latent HIV-1 provirus. Scientific Reports, 3, 2510.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Minenna, M. (2016). The Incomplete Currency: The Future of the Euro and Solutions for the Eurozone. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Cigola, M. (Ed.). (2016). Distinguished Figures in Descriptive Geometry and Its Applications for Mechanism Science: From the Middle Ages to the 17th Century (1st ed. 2016, Vol. 30). Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Ducros, A. (2016). About Hrushovski and Loeser’s Work on the Homotopy Type of Berkovich Spaces. In M. Baker & S. Payne (Eds.), Nonarchimedean and Tropical Geometry (pp. 99–131). Springer International Publishing.

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
Andrew, E. (2014, September 2). Health Check: five supplements that may help with depression. 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. (2000). Space Shuttle: Human Capital Challenges Require Management Attention (T-NSIAD-00-133). 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
Edwards, K. (2017). Autism Spectrum Disorder and Social Narratives: Personalization of Delivery via Brief Experimental Analysis [Doctoral dissertation]. Southern Illinois University.

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
Grynbaum, M. M. (2017, April 30). Typically Chummy Ritual Offers Moment of Catharsis. New York Times, A15.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Verrijzer, 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Boyd & Mackie, 2008; Verrijzer, 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Boyd & Mackie, 2008)
  • Three authors: (von Melchner et al., 2000)
  • 6 or more authors: (Ebina et al., 2013)

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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