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
Kiick, K. L. (2007). Materials science. Polymer therapeutics. Science (New York, N.Y.), 317(5842), 1182–1183.
A journal article with 2 authors
Doak, D. F., & Morris, W. F. (2010). Demographic compensation and tipping points in climate-induced range shifts. Nature, 467(7318), 959–962.
A journal article with 3 authors
Sakamaki, T., Suzuki, A., & Ohtani, E. (2006). Stability of hydrous melt at the base of the Earth’s upper mantle. Nature, 439(7073), 192–194.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Brandman, O., Ferrell, J. E., Jr, Li, R., & Meyer, T. (2005). Interlinked fast and slow positive feedback loops drive reliable cell decisions. Science (New York, N.Y.), 310(5747), 496–498.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Goossens, F. (2015). How to Implement Market Models Using VBA. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Shabtai, A. (2012). A Survey of Data Leakage Detection and Prevention Solutions (Y. Elovici & L. Rokach, Eds.). Springer US.
A chapter in an edited book
Ncube, M., Gumata, N., & Ndou, E. (2016). Spillovers from Euro Area Bond Yields into the South African Macro Economy. In N. Gumata & E. Ndou (Eds.), Global Growth and Financial Spillovers and the South African Macro-economy (pp. 67–80). Palgrave Macmillan UK.

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, August 18). Scientists Accidentally Produce An Entirely New Type Of Glass. 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. (2001). Highway Infrastructure: FHWA’s Model for Estimating Highway Needs Has Been Modified for State-Level Planning (GAO-01-299). 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
Tomko, P. R. (2012). Understanding the factors affecting the influence of children on their parents’ total purchases [Doctoral dissertation]. Capella 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
Suleiman, S. R. (2016, October 18). Selected for Death. New York Times, BR20.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Kiick, 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Doak & Morris, 2010; Kiick, 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Doak & Morris, 2010)
  • Three authors: (Sakamaki et al., 2006)
  • 6 or more authors: (Brandman 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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