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
Arntzen, C.J., 2008. Plant science. Using tobacco to treat cancer. Science 321, 1052–1053.
A journal article with 2 authors
Berndt, J.D., Moon, R.T., 2013. Cell biology. Making a point with Wnt signals. Science 339, 1388–1389.
A journal article with 3 authors
Wang, L., Baade, D., Patat, F., 2007. Spectropolarimetric diagnostics of thermonuclear supernova explosions. Science 315, 212–214.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Sachs, K., Perez, O., Pe’er, D., Lauffenburger, D.A., Nolan, G.P., 2005. Causal protein-signaling networks derived from multiparameter single-cell data. Science 308, 523–529.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Misstear, B., Banks, D., Clark, L., 2017. Water Wells and Boreholes. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Dwyer, M.B., Lopes, A. (Eds.), 2007. Fundamental Approaches to Software Engineering: 10th International Conference, FASE 2007, Held as Part of the Joint European Conferences, on Theory and Practice of Software, ETAPS 2007, Braga, Portugal, March 24 - April 1, 2007. Proceedings, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Dunoff, J.L., 2013. Is Sovereign Equality Obsolete? Understanding Twenty-First Century International Organizations, in: Nijman, J.E., Werner, W.G. (Eds.), Netherlands Yearbook of International Law 2012: Legal Equality and the International Rule of Law - Essays in Honour of P.H. Kooijmans. T. M. C. Asser Press, The Hague, The Netherlands, pp. 99–127.

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., 2015. This Fungus Can Instantly Induce An Earth-Shattering Orgasm [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, 1998. District of Columbia Public Schools: Status of Fiscal Year 1998 Roof Projects (No. T-AIMD-98-219). 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
Penney, G., 2010. Executive Fire Officers’ strategic thinking capabilities and their relationship with information and communication technology (Doctoral dissertation). Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL.

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
Shear, M.D., Cooper, H., Schmitt, E., 2017. White House Claims Syria Is Preparing Poison Attack. New York Times A8.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Arntzen, 2008).
This sentence cites two references (Arntzen, 2008; Berndt and Moon, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Berndt and Moon, 2013)
  • Three or more authors: (Sachs et al., 2005)

About the journal

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

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