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
Jernelöv, A., 2010. How to defend against future oil spills. Nature 466, 182–183.
A journal article with 2 authors
Guth, A.H., Kaiser, D.I., 2005. Inflationary cosmology: exploring the universe from the smallest to the largest scales. Science 307, 884–890.
A journal article with 3 authors
GrandPré, T., Li, S., Strittmatter, S.M., 2002. Nogo-66 receptor antagonist peptide promotes axonal regeneration. Nature 417, 547–551.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Velasquez, S.M., Ricardi, M.M., Dorosz, J.G., Fernandez, P.V., Nadra, A.D., Pol-Fachin, L., Egelund, J., Gille, S., Harholt, J., Ciancia, M., Verli, H., Pauly, M., Bacic, A., Olsen, C.E., Ulvskov, P., Petersen, B.L., Somerville, C., Iusem, N.D., Estevez, J.M., 2011. O-glycosylated cell wall proteins are essential in root hair growth. Science 332, 1401–1403.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bender, H.F., 2002. Das Gefahrstoffbuch. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, FRG.
An edited book
Piętka, E., Kawa, J., Wieclawek, W. (Eds.), 2014. Information Technologies in Biomedicine, Volume 3, Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
De Pauw, T., De Turck, F., Ongenae, V., 2011. Autonomous Service Composition in Symbiotic Networks, in: Chrisment, I., Couch, A., Badonnel, R., Waldburger, M. (Eds.), Managing the Dynamics of Networks and Services: 5th International Conference on Autonomous Infrastructure, Management, and Security, AIMS 2011, Nancy, France, June 13-17, 2011. Proceedings, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 49–52.

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., 2015. Was Water Abundant In The Early Universe? [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, 2014. Small Business Innovation Research: Change in Program Eligibility Has Had Little Impact (No. GAO-15-68). 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
Forshey, T.M., 2013. Neural basis of the neurological diagnostic power of vibrotactile sensory testing (Doctoral dissertation). University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.

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
St. John Kelly, E., 1994. The Puck Glides at Night In Amateur Hockey League. New York Times 150.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Jernelöv, 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Guth and Kaiser, 2005; Jernelöv, 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Guth and Kaiser, 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (Velasquez et al., 2011)

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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