How to format your references using the Social Science & Medicine citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Social Science & Medicine. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Mahowald, N., 2011. Aerosol indirect effect on biogeochemical cycles and climate. Science 334, 794–796.
A journal article with 2 authors
Gabel, H.W., Greenberg, M.E., 2013. Genetics. The maturing brain methylome. Science 341, 626–627.
A journal article with 3 authors
Aguzzi, A., Barres, B.A., Bennett, M.L., 2013. Microglia: scapegoat, saboteur, or something else? Science 339, 156–161.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Sun, J., Pang, Z.P., Qin, D., Fahim, A.T., Adachi, R., Südhof, T.C., 2007. A dual-Ca2+-sensor model for neurotransmitter release in a central synapse. Nature 450, 676–682.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Yanni, S.B., 2015. Translational ADMET for Drug Therapy. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Brasseur, G.P., 2005. Aeronomy of the Middle Atmosphere: Chemistry and Physics of the Stratosphere and Mesosphere, Third revised and enlarged edition. ed, Atmospheric and Oceanographic Sciences Library. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht.
A chapter in an edited book
Assavapokee, T., Realff, M.J., Ammons, J.C., 2009. A Relative Robust Optimization Approach for Full Factorial Scenario Design of Data Uncertainty and Ambiguity, in: Chaovalitwongse, W., Furman, K.C., Pardalos, P.M. (Eds.), Optimization and Logistics Challenges in the Enterprise, Springer Optimization and Its Applications. Springer US, Boston, MA, pp. 145–174.

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 Social Science & Medicine.

Blog post
Andrew, E., 2013. Using the Power of Evolution to Treat Cancer [WWW Document]. IFLScience. URL (accessed 10.30.18).


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, 1978. Shifting the Government’s Automatic Data Processing Requirements to the Private Sector: Further Study and Better Guidance Needed (No. FGMSD-78-22). U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Kolb, J.N., 2015. What’s professional development got to do with it? The value of lesson study in implementing the common core standards for mathematical practices (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
Barron, J., 2017. A ‘Triumphant Return’ for a Church’s 17th-Century Tapestries. New York Times A21.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Mahowald, 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Gabel and Greenberg, 2013; Mahowald, 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Gabel and Greenberg, 2013)
  • Three or more authors: (Sun et al., 2007)

About the journal

Full journal titleSocial Science & Medicine
AbbreviationSoc. Sci. Med.
ISSN (print)0277-9536
ScopeHistory and Philosophy of Science
Health(social science)

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