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
Bignami, Giovanni F. (2002). Astronomy. Gamma-ray astronomy with INTEGRAL. Science (New York, N.Y.), 298(5598), 1560–1561.
A journal article with 2 authors
Lorincz, Andrea & Nusser, Zoltan (2010). Molecular identity of dendritic voltage-gated sodium channels. Science (New York, N.Y.), 328(5980), 906–909.
A journal article with 3 authors
Bosch, Roeland; van de Pol, Mattheüs & Philp, Jim (2015). Policy: Define biomass sustainability. Nature, 523(7562), 526–527.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Nielsen, Peter R.; Nietlispach, Daniel; Mott, Helen R.; Callaghan, Juliana; Bannister, Andrew; Kouzarides, Tony; … Laue, Ernest D. (2002). Structure of the HP1 chromodomain bound to histone H3 methylated at lysine 9. Nature, 416(6876), 103–107.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hillis, David R. & Duvall, J. Barry (2012). Improving Profitability through Green Manufacturing. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Klok, Harm-Anton & Schlaad, Helmut (Eds.) (2006). Peptide Hybrid Polymers (Vol. 202). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Chomicki, Jan (2006). Iterative Modification and Incremental Evaluation of Preference Queries. In Jürgen Dix & Stephen J. Hegner (Eds.), Foundations of Information and Knowledge Systems: 4th International Symposium, FoIKS 2006, Budapest, Hungary, Februrary 14-17, 2006. Proceedings (pp. 63–82). 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 Forum: Qualitative Social Research (English).

Blog post
Andrews, Robin (2016). Planet Nine May Have Come From Outside The Solar System, [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 (1976). Status of Budget Authority Involved in Three Rescissions (No. OGC-77-2). 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
Seger, James L. (2017). The Occupy Movement: Signs of Cultural Shifts in Group Processes Shaped by Place (Doctoral dissertation). Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, 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
Dinardo, Kelly (2014). Kevin Carr Will Stop Running When He Circles the World. New York Times, p. TR3.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (BIGNAMI, 2002).
This sentence cites two references (BIGNAMI, 2002; LORINCZ & NUSSER, 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (LORINCZ & NUSSER, 2010)
  • Three authors: (BOSCH, VAN DE POL & PHILP, 2015)
  • 6 or more authors: (NIELSEN et al., 2002)

About the journal

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

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