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
Montanarella, Luca (2015). Agricultural policy: Govern our soils. Nature, 528(7580), 32–33.
A journal article with 2 authors
Johnson, Dominic D. P. & Fowler, James H. (2011). The evolution of overconfidence. Nature, 477(7364), 317–320.
A journal article with 3 authors
Gibbs, M. J.; Armstrong, J. S. & Gibbs, A. J. (2001). Recombination in the hemagglutinin gene of the 1918 ‘Spanish flu’. Science (New York, N.Y.), 293(5536), 1842–1845.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Chow, E.; Lin, S. Y.; Johnson, S. G.; Villeneuve, P. R.; Joannopoulos, J. D.; Wendt, J. R.; … Alleman, A. (2000). Three-dimensional control of light in a two-dimensional photonic crystal slab. Nature, 407(6807), 983–986.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Quinlan, Joseph & VanderBrug, Jackie (2016). Gender Lens Investing. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Sun, Xian-He; Qu, Wenyu; Stojmenovic, Ivan; Zhou, Wanlei; Li, Zhiyang; Guo, Hua; … Liu, Lei (Eds.) (2014). Algorithms and Architectures for Parallel Processing: 14th International Conference, ICA3PP 2014, Dalian, China, August 24-27, 2014. Proceedings, Part II (Vol. 8631). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Muehlenbein, Michael P. (2013). Human-Wildlife Contact and Emerging Infectious Diseases. In Eduardo S. Brondízio & Emilio F. Moran (Eds.), Human-Environment Interactions: Current and Future Directions (pp. 79–94). 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
Taub, Ben (2016). Giving Alzheimer’s To Cancer Cells Could Render Them Harmless, [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 (2014). Mobile Devices: Federal Agencies’ Steps to Improve Mobile Access to Government Information and Services (No. GAO-15-69). 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
Hasan, Syed Naveed (2012). Design and optimization of 2012 Formula SAE chassis with finite element analysis for CSULB (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
Vecsey, George (2009). Weather Doesn’t Dampen Latest Heart-Stopper in the Bronx. New York Times, p. SP3.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text

About the journal

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

Other styles