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
Russell, J.F., 2013. If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing twice. Nature 496, 7.
A journal article with 2 authors
Romney, D.K., Miller, S.J., 2015. Chemistry. Climbing Jacob’s ladder. Science 347, 829.
A journal article with 3 authors
Mueller, K., Hough, S.E., Bilham, R., 2004. Analysing the 1811-1812 New Madrid earthquakes with recent instrumentally recorded aftershocks. Nature 429, 284–288.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Steele, G.A., Hüttel, A.K., Witkamp, B., Poot, M., Meerwaldt, H.B., Kouwenhoven, L.P., van der Zant, H.S.J., 2009. Strong coupling between single-electron tunneling and nanomechanical motion. Science 325, 1103–1107.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Charalambides, C.A., 2016. Discrete q-Distributions. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Guillonneau, B., 2009. Laparoscopic Techniques in Uro-Oncology. Springer, London.
A chapter in an edited book
Jambor, A., Babu, S., 2016. Regional Challenges in Ensuring Food Security, in: Babu, S. (Ed.), Competitiveness of Global Agriculture: Policy Lessons for Food Security, JRC Science and Policy Reports, European Commission. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp. 75–97.

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., 2015. The Horrifying Reason That Your Eyes Go Red In The Pool [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, 2011. Polar Satellites: Agencies Need to Address Potential Gaps in Weather and Climate Data Coverage (No. GAO-11-945T). 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
Gittens, B.E., 2009. Perceptions of the applicability of transformational leadership behavior to the leader role of academic department chairs: A study of selected universities in Virginia (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
Stewart, J.B., 2017. Following Amazon In the Hunt For a Home. New York Times B1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Russell, 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Romney and Miller, 2015; Russell, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Romney and Miller, 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Steele 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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