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
Blaaderen, A. van, 2003. Chemistry. Colloidal molecules and beyond. Science 301, 470–471.
A journal article with 2 authors
Lease, R.O., Ehlers, T.A., 2013. Incision into the eastern Andean Plateau during Pliocene cooling. Science 341, 774–776.
A journal article with 3 authors
Séguin, B., Singer, P.A., Daar, A.S., 2006. Science community: scientific diasporas. Science 312, 1602–1603.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Kovac, J.M., Leitch, E.M., Pryke, C., Carlstrom, J.E., Halverson, N.W., Holzapfel, W.L., 2002. Detection of polarization in the cosmic microwave background using DASI. Degree Angular Scale Interferometer. Nature 420, 772–787.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Pickles, J., Smith, A., Begg, R., Buček, M., Roukova, P., Pástor, R., 2015. Articulations of Capital. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
O’Donnell, L., Nedjati-Gilani, G., Rathi, Y., Reisert, M., Schneider, T. (Eds.), 2014. Computational Diffusion MRI: MICCAI Workshop, Boston, MA, USA, September 2014, Mathematics and Visualization. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Borsci, S., Federici, S., Mele, M.L., Conti, M., 2015. Short Scales of Satisfaction Assessment: A Proxy to Involve Disabled Users in the Usability Testing of Websites, in: Kurosu, M. (Ed.), Human-Computer Interaction: Users and Contexts: 17th International Conference, HCI International 2015, Los Angeles, CA, USA, August 2-7, 2015, Proceedings, Part III, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp. 35–42.

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
Luntz, S., 2015. Amazing Video Shows What LA’s Night Skies Would Look Like Without Pollution [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, 1998. Student Loans: Characteristics of Students and Default Rates at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (No. HEHS-98-90). 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
Bleicher, J., 2008. Scenario methods as a means for enhancing organizational learning: A Delphi study (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
Novick, S.M., 2015. Prepared Foods With Panache. New York Times LI9.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Blaaderen, 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Blaaderen, 2003; Lease and Ehlers, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Lease and Ehlers, 2013)
  • Three or more authors: (Kovac et al., 2002)

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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