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
Gewin, V. (2005). Making it in the biotech business. Nature, 435(7038), 124–125.
A journal article with 2 authors
Langley, J. A., & Megonigal, J. P. (2010). Ecosystem response to elevated CO(2) levels limited by nitrogen-induced plant species shift. Nature, 466(7302), 96–99.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kossin, J. P., Emanuel, K. A., & Vecchi, G. A. (2014). The poleward migration of the location of tropical cyclone maximum intensity. Nature, 509(7500), 349–352.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Heathman, S., Haire, R. G., Le Bihan, T., Lindbaum, A., Idiri, M., Normile, P., … Lander, G. H. (2005). A high-pressure structure in curium linked to magnetism. Science (New York, N.Y.), 309(5731), 110–113.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Block, T., Eggert, H., & Kauschke, W. (2013). Lager im Bauwesen. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Paulweber, M. (2016). Powertrain Instrumentation and Test Systems: Development – Hybridization – Electrification. (K. Lebert, Ed.). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Gronau, H.-D., Langmann, H.-H., & Schleicher, D. (2011). Programme. In H.-D. Gronau, H.-H. Langmann, & D. Schleicher (Eds.), 50th IMO - 50 Years of International Mathematical Olympiads (pp. 27–45). Berlin, Heidelberg: 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
Hale, T. (2016, June 21). This Blue or Green Spectrum Illusion Depends On How Your Brain Perceives Color. Retrieved October 30, 2018, from


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. (2015). Aviation Security: TSA Has Taken Steps to Improve Vetting of Airport Workers (No. GAO-15-704T). Washington, DC: 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
Oliva, D. A. (2012). Technological mediation: The implications of technology on the human experience (Doctoral dissertation). California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

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
Kelly, M. (1992, August 2). THE 1992 CAMPAIGN: The Democrats; Clinton Throws G.O.P. Slogan Back at President. New York Times, p. 124.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Gewin, 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Gewin, 2005; Langley & Megonigal, 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Langley & Megonigal, 2010)
  • Three authors: (Kossin, Emanuel, & Vecchi, 2014)
  • 6 or more authors: (Heathman 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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