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
Shore, B., 2002. Obituary: Sir Raymond Firth (1901-2002). Nature 416, 384.
A journal article with 2 authors
Adams, W.W., Baughman, R.H., 2005. Retrospective: Richard E. Smalley (1943-2005). Science 310, 1916.
A journal article with 3 authors
Zhu, G., Golding, G.B., Dean, A.M., 2005. The selective cause of an ancient adaptation. Science 307, 1279–1282.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Troedhan, A., Schlichting, I., Kurrek, A., Wainwright, M., 2014. Primary implant stability in augmented sinuslift-sites after completed bone regeneration: a randomized controlled clinical study comparing four subantrally inserted biomaterials. Sci. Rep. 4, 5877.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Cornier, J., Owen, A., Kwade, A., Van de Voorde, M., 2017. Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology: Innovation and Production. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany.
An edited book
Moreau, L., Foster, I. (Eds.), 2006. Provenance and Annotation of Data: International Provenance and Annotation Workshop, IPAW 2006, Chicago, IL, USA, May 3-5, 2006, Revised Selected Papers, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Hadzigeorgiou, Y., 2015. Young Children’s Ideas About Physical Science Concepts, in: Cabe Trundle, K., Saçkes, M. (Eds.), Research in Early Childhood Science Education. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp. 67–97.

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, D., 2016. Engineered Bacteria Are Helping Us Add Memory To Living Computers [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, 2001. Mass Transit: Many Management Successes at WMATA, but Capital Planning Could Be Enhanced (No. GAO-01-744). 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
Hertzog, L., 2013. Development and implementation of a prenatal postpartum depression education program for nurse practitioner students at California State University Long Beach (Doctoral dissertation). California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

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
Walsh, M.W., 2017. Puerto Rico, Mired in Debt, Approves a Rescue Plan. New York Times B4.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Shore, 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Adams and Baughman, 2005; Shore, 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Adams and Baughman, 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (Troedhan et al., 2014)

About the journal

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

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