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
Nori, Franco (2009). Physics. Quantum football. Science (New York, N.Y.), 325(5941), 689–690.
A journal article with 2 authors
Safinya, Cyrus R. & Li, Youli (2010). Materials science. Bundling with x-rays. Science (New York, N.Y.), 327(5965), 529–530.
A journal article with 3 authors
Chen, Li M.; Friedman, Robert M. & Roe, Anna W. (2003). Optical imaging of a tactile illusion in area 3b of the primary somatosensory cortex. Science (New York, N.Y.), 302(5646), 881–885.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Panowski, Siler H.; Wolff, Suzanne; Aguilaniu, Hugo; Durieux, Jenni & Dillin, Andrew (2007). PHA-4/Foxa mediates diet-restriction-induced longevity of C. elegans. Nature, 447(7144), 550–555.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Petrozzi, Sergio (2012). Practical Instrumental Analysis. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Maragoudakis, Michael E. & Tsopanoglou, Nikos E. (Eds.) (2009). Thrombin: Physiology and Disease. New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Palacios, Jose & Cin, Paola Dal (2009). Molecular Pathology and Cytogenetics of Endometrial Carcinoma, Carcinosarcoma, and Uterine Sarcomas. In Esther Oliva & Franco Muggia (Eds.), Uterine Cancer: Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (pp. 87–104). Totowa, NJ: Humana Press.

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
Davis, Josh (2016). Scientists Claim To Have Reversed Menopause, [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 (2001). JFMIP: Acquisition/Financial Systems Interface Requirements (Exposure Draft) (No. JFMIP-SR-01-03). 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
Hatton, Holly (2013). How Rural Elementary Building Principals Conceptualize the Programs in Their Schools, the Processes of Connecting Students to Programs, and Their Leadership Role in Doing So (Doctoral dissertation). George Washington University, Washington, DC.

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
Yeh, James (2016). Little Moments. New York Times, p. BR44.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (NORI, 2009).
This sentence cites two references (NORI, 2009; SAFINYA & LI, 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (SAFINYA & LI, 2010)
  • Three authors: (CHEN, FRIEDMAN & ROE, 2003)
  • 6 or more authors: (PANOWSKI, WOLFF, AGUILANIU, DURIEUX & DILLIN, 2007)

About the journal

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

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