How to format your references using the Social Science Research citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Social Science Research. 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
Bourzac, K., 2015. Batteries: 4 big questions. Nature 526, S105.
A journal article with 2 authors
Abrams, D.M., Strogatz, S.H., 2003. Linguistics: modelling the dynamics of language death. Nature 424, 900.
A journal article with 3 authors
Daviter, T., Murphy, F.V., 4th, Ramakrishnan, V., 2005. Molecular biology. A renewed focus on transfer RNA. Science 308, 1123–1124.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Vanacore, R., Ham, A.-J.L., Voehler, M., Sanders, C.R., Conrads, T.P., Veenstra, T.D., Sharpless, K.B., Dawson, P.E., Hudson, B.G., 2009. A sulfilimine bond identified in collagen IV. Science 325, 1230–1234.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Kindmann, R., Kraus, M., 2012. Steel Structures. Ernst & Sohn Verlag für Architektur und technische Wissenschaften GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin, Germany.
An edited book
Proulx, T. (Ed.), 2011. Rotating Machinery, Structural Health Monitoring, Shock and Vibration, Volume 5: Proceedings of the 29th IMAC, A Conference on Structural Dynamics, 2011, Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series. Springer, New York, NY.
A chapter in an edited book
Fan, P.-R., Ren, L.-C., 2013. Design of an Information System of Production Logistics Tracking (ISPLT) for Tobacco Manufacturing Based on RFID, in: Qi, E., Shen, J., Dou, R. (Eds.), Proceedings of 20th International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management: Theory and Apply of Industrial Engineering. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 41–55.

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 Research.

Blog post
Andrew, E., 2014. How Virtual Reality Can Help Treat Sex Offenders [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, 2004. Business Systems Modernization: IRS’s Fiscal Year 2004 Expenditure Plan (No. GAO-05-46). 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
Jackson, M.E., 2010. Where are the parents: The parent’s perspective of parental involvement in education (Doctoral dissertation). George Washington University, Washington, DC.

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
Saslow, L., 2007. A Virus Endangers Trout at Big Hatchery. New York Times 14LI2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Bourzac, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Abrams and Strogatz, 2003; Bourzac, 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Abrams and Strogatz, 2003)
  • Three or more authors: (Vanacore et al., 2009)

About the journal

Full journal titleSocial Science Research
AbbreviationSoc. Sci. Res.
ISSN (print)0049-089X
Sociology and Political Science

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