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
Kulacki, G., 2011. US and China need contact, not cold war. Nature 474, 444–445.
A journal article with 2 authors
Funk, J.L., Vitousek, P.M., 2007. Resource-use efficiency and plant invasion in low-resource systems. Nature 446, 1079–1081.
A journal article with 3 authors
Schön, J.H., Kloc, C., Batlogg, B., 2001. High-temperature superconductivity in lattice-expanded C60. Science 293, 2432–2434.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Ozsolak, F., Platt, A.R., Jones, D.R., Reifenberger, J.G., Sass, L.E., McInerney, P., Thompson, J.F., Bowers, J., Jarosz, M., Milos, P.M., 2009. Direct RNA sequencing. Nature 461, 814–818.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Walter, R.J., 1998. Local Emergency Planning Committee Guidebook. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Quinn, G.P., Vadaparampil, S.T. (Eds.), 2012. Reproductive Health and Cancer in Adolescents and Young Adults, Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht.
A chapter in an edited book
Verdonschot, P.F.M., 2006. Evaluation of the use of Water Framework Directive typology descriptors, reference sites and spatial scale in macroinvertebrate stream typology, in: Furse, M.T., Hering, D., Brabec, K., Buffagni, A., Sandin, L., Verdonschot, P.F.M. (Eds.), The Ecological Status of European Rivers: Evaluation and Intercalibration of Assessment Methods, Developments in Hydrobiology. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp. 39–58.

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
Fang, J., 2015. Ancient Walrus Relative Had No Tusks [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, 1993. NASA Property: Improving Management of Government Equipment Provided to Contractors (No. NSIAD-93-191). 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
Nash, M.C., 2017. Reading Achievement: A Study of Perceptions of First-Grade Teachers and the Relationship Between Attendance and Reading Achievement (Doctoral dissertation). Lindenwood University, St. Charles, MO.

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
Crow, K., 2001. Healing and Burnout, 12 Hours at a Stretch. New York Times 152.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Kulacki, 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Funk and Vitousek, 2007; Kulacki, 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Funk and Vitousek, 2007)
  • Three or more authors: (Ozsolak 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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