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
Grinnell, F. (2013). It is time to update US biomedical funding. Nature, 501(7466), 137.
A journal article with 2 authors
Vitetta, E. S., & Ghetie, V. F. (2006). Immunology. Considering therapeutic antibodies. Science (New York, N.Y.), 313(5785), 308–309.
A journal article with 3 authors
Hacker, J., Hentschel, U., & Dobrindt, U. (2003). Prokaryotic chromosomes and disease. Science (New York, N.Y.), 301(5634), 790–793.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Nagalakshmi, U., Wang, Z., Waern, K., Shou, C., Raha, D., Gerstein, M., & Snyder, M. (2008). The transcriptional landscape of the yeast genome defined by RNA sequencing. Science (New York, N.Y.), 320(5881), 1344–1349.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Batten, L. M. (2013). Public Key Cryptography. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Hvam, L. (2008). Product Customization (N. H. Mortensen & J. Riis, Eds.). Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Sun, C., Deng, Y., Tang, B., & Zhong, S. (2016). Urban Traffic Operation Pattern and Spatiotemporal Mode Based on Big Data (Taking Beijing Urban Area as an Example). In F. Bian & Y. Xie (Eds.), Geo-Informatics in Resource Management and Sustainable Ecosystem: Third International Conference, GRMSE 2015, Wuhan, China, October 16-18, 2015, Revised Selected Papers (pp. 32–47). 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
Carpineti, A. (2016, August 17). Peeing In The Pool Is Not Just Gross, It’s Dangerous. 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. (2007). Applying Agreed-Upon Procedures: Highway Trust Fund Excise Taxes (GAO-08-202R). 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
Takele, T. (2003). Confinement Mechanisms in Quantum Chromodynamics [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Cincinnati.

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
George, I. by N. (2013, October 13). An Essentially American Narrative. New York Times, AR18.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Grinnell, 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Grinnell, 2013; Vitetta & Ghetie, 2006).

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

  • Two authors: (Vitetta & Ghetie, 2006)
  • Three authors: (Hacker et al., 2003)
  • 6 or more authors: (Nagalakshmi et al., 2008)

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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