How to format your references using the Contemporary Sociology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Contemporary Sociology. 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
Schnitzer, Mark J. 2002. “Biological Computation: Amazing Algorithms.” Nature 416(6882):683.
A journal article with 2 authors
Moore, Ben D., and William J. Foley. 2005. “Tree Use by Koalas in a Chemically Complex Landscape.” Nature 435(7041):488–90.
A journal article with 3 authors
Xu, Na, Chia-Lun Tsai, and Jeannie T. Lee. 2006. “Transient Homologous Chromosome Pairing Marks the Onset of X Inactivation.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 311(5764):1149–52.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Zeng, Jia, Aida Mohammadreza, Weimin Gao, Saeed Merza, Dean Smith, Laimonas Kelbauskas, and Deirdre R. Meldrum. 2014. “A Minimally Invasive Method for Retrieving Single Adherent Cells of Different Types from Cultures.” Scientific Reports 4:5424.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Paret, Dominique, and Roderick Riesco. 2005. RFID and Contactless Smart Card Applications. Chichester, West Sussex, England: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Baskin, Lev. 2015. Resonant Tunneling: Quantum Waveguides of Variable Cross-Section, Asymptotics, Numerics, and Applications. edited by P. Neittaanmäki, B. Plamenevskii, and O. Sarafanov. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Piccioni, Miranda, Zuojia Chen, Andy Tsun, and Bin Li. 2014. “Regulatory T-Cell Differentiation and Their Function in Immune Regulation.” Pp. 67–97 in T Helper Cell Differentiation and Their Function, Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, edited by B. Sun. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

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 Sociology.

Blog post
Carpineti, Alfredo. 2017. “Artificial Magnetic Shield Could Help In Terraforming Mars.” IFLScience. Retrieved October 30, 2018.


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. 1988. DOT Airline Industry Oversight. T-RCED-88-36. 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
Zhang, Haoyu. 2008. “Studies of Zeolite-Based Artificial Photosynthetic Systems.” Doctoral dissertation, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.

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
Stewart, James B. 2017. “A Trip Minus A Smartphone (It Can Work).” New York Times, October 19, B1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Schnitzer 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Moore and Foley 2005; Schnitzer 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Moore and Foley 2005)
  • Three authors: (Xu, Tsai, and Lee 2006)
  • 4 or more authors: (Zeng et al. 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleContemporary Sociology
AbbreviationContemp. Sociol.
ISSN (print)0094-3061
ScopeSociology and Political Science

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