How to format your references using the Forum: Qualitative Social Research (English) citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Forum: Qualitative Social Research (English) (FQS). 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
DeLong, Edward F. (2007). Microbiology. Life on the thermodynamic edge. Science (New York, N.Y.), 317(5836), 327–328.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ezzati, Majid & Riboli, Elio (2012). Can noncommunicable diseases be prevented? Lessons from studies of populations and individuals. Science (New York, N.Y.), 337(6101), 1482–1487.
A journal article with 3 authors
Zhang, Peng; Wang, Jiawei & Shi, Yigong (2010). Structure and mechanism of the S component of a bacterial ECF transporter. Nature, 468(7324), 717–720.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Jankowsky, E.; Gross, C. H.; Shuman, S. & Pyle, A. M. (2000). The DExH protein NPH-II is a processive and directional motor for unwinding RNA. Nature, 403(6768), 447–451.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ekenna, Okechukwu (2016). Cases in Clinical Infectious Disease Practice: Obtaining a good history from the patient remains the cornerstone of an accurate clinical diagnosis: Lessons learned in many years of clinical practice. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Koucheryavy, Yevgeni; Mamatas, Lefteris; Matta, Ibrahim & Tsaoussidis, Vassilis (Eds.) (2012). Wired/Wireless Internet Communication: 10th International Conference, WWIC 2012, Santorini, Greece, June 6-8, 2012. Proceedings (Vol. 7277). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Eddahibi, Saadia; Raffestin, Bernadette & Adnot, Serge (2007). Angiogenesis And Chronic Hypoxic Pulmonary Hypertension. In Almaz Aldashev & Robert Naeije (Eds.), Problems of High Altitude Medicine and Biology (pp. 57–68). 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 Forum: Qualitative Social Research (English).

Blog post
O`Callaghan, Jonathan (2017). British Astronaut Tim Peake Is Going Back To Space, [Accessed: 30 October 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 (1992). Intercollegiate Athletics: Revenues and Expenses, Gender and Minority Profiles, and Compensation in Athletic Departments (No. T-HRD-92-25). 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
Werbeck, Kai-Uwe (2012). From rubble to revolutions and raves: Literary interrogations of German media ecologies (Doctoral dissertation). University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.

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
Vecsey, George (2010). St. John’s Takes an Opener, With No Fight From UConn. New York Times, p. B13.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (DELONG, 2007).
This sentence cites two references (DELONG, 2007; EZZATI & RIBOLI, 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (EZZATI & RIBOLI, 2012)
  • Three authors: (ZHANG, WANG & SHI, 2010)
  • 6 or more authors: (JANKOWSKY, GROSS, SHUMAN & PYLE, 2000)

About the journal

Full journal titleForum: Qualitative Social Research (English)
ISSN (print)1438-5627

Other styles