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
Blow, Nathan (2009). Systems biology: Playing by the rules. Nature, 460(7253), 417.
A journal article with 2 authors
Sagarin, R. & Micheli, F. (2001). Climate change in nontraditional data sets. Science (New York, N.Y.), 294(5543), 811.
A journal article with 3 authors
O’Connor, Daniel H.; Huber, Daniel & Svoboda, Karel (2009). Reverse engineering the mouse brain. Nature, 461(7266), 923–929.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Selli, Daniele; Baburin, Igor A.; Martoňák, Roman & Leoni, Stefano (2013). Novel metastable metallic and semiconducting germaniums. Scientific Reports, 3, 1466.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
McGuiggan, Peter (2005). GPRS in Practice. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Jakus, Grega (2013). Concepts, Ontologies, and Knowledge Representation. (V. Milutinović, S. Omerović, & S. Tomažič, Eds.). New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Verweij, Marcel (2011). Case Description: The Pharmaceutical Industry and the AIDS Crisis. In Wim Dubbink, Luc van Liedekerke, & Henk van Luijk (Eds.), European Business Ethics Cases in Context: The Morality of Corporate Decision Making (pp. 33–45). 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
Andrews, Robin (2015). World’s Ten Most Dangerous Volcanoes Identified, [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 (2005). Digital Television Transition: Issues Related to an Information Campaign Regarding the Transition (No. GAO-05-940R). 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
Poldervaart, Pamela Gueringer (2010). A qualitative study of nursing didactic programs: Novice nurses’ perception of competence, confidence, and retention (Doctoral dissertation). University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ.

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
Schmidt, Samantha (2016). In City Rich in History, Unusual Plan to Preserve Poet’s Home. New York Times, p. A24.

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