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
Bray, D. (2003). Genomics. Molecular prodigality. Science (New York, N.Y.), 299(5610), 1189–1190.
A journal article with 2 authors
Folkman, J., & Camphausen, K. (2001). Cancer. What does radiotherapy do to endothelial cells? Science (New York, N.Y.), 293(5528), 227–228.
A journal article with 3 authors
Long, J. C. S., Loy, F., & Morgan, M. G. (2015). Policy: Start research on climate engineering. Nature, 518(7537), 29–31.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Yoshida, H., Kawane, K., Koike, M., Mori, Y., Uchiyama, Y., & Nagata, S. (2005). Phosphatidylserine-dependent engulfment by macrophages of nuclei from erythroid precursor cells. Nature, 437(7059), 754–758.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Permyakov, E. A., & Kretsinger, R. H. (2010). Calcium Binding Proteins. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Marqué, C., & Nindos, A. (Eds.). (2012). Energy Storage and Release through the Solar Activity Cycle: Models Meet Radio Observations. Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Tenny, L., & Hirani, Z. (2010). Using Entity Framework in ASP.NET. In Z. Hirani (Ed.), Entity Framework 4.0 Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach (pp. 115–154). Apress.

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. (2015, January 29). Ancient Exoplanet Discovery Boosts Chances Of Finding Alien Life. 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. (2002). Customs Service Modernization: Management Improvements Needed on High-Risk Automated Commercial Environment Project (GAO-02-545). 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
Arnold, J. K. (2015). An Ecological Model for Health Policy Review: The Integration of New Institutional and Public Choice Theory for Public Policy Assessment [Doctoral dissertation]. Northcentral 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
Carlson, L. (2010, February 21). Come Committed or Stay on the Couch. New York Times, MB3.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Bray, 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Bray, 2003; Folkman & Camphausen, 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Folkman & Camphausen, 2001)
  • Three authors: (Long et al., 2015)
  • 6 or more authors: (Yoshida et al., 2005)

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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