How to format your references using the Social Sciences & Humanities Open citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Social Sciences & Humanities Open. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Temple, S. (2001). The development of neural stem cells. Nature, 414(6859), 112–117.
A journal article with 2 authors
Calka, A., & Wexler, D. (2002). Mechanical milling assisted by electrical discharge. Nature, 419(6903), 147–151.
A journal article with 3 authors
McMahon, S. M., Miller, K. H., & Drake, J. (2001). Social science and ecology. Networking tips for social scientists and ecologists. Science (New York, N.Y.), 293(5535), 1604–1605.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Volpert, M., Mangum, J. E., Jamsai, D., D’Sylva, R., O’Bryan, M. K., & McIntyre, P. (2014). Eukaryotic expression, purification and structure/function analysis of native, recombinant CRISP3 from human and mouse. Scientific Reports, 4, 4217.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Beach, G. J. (2013). The U.S. Technology Skills Gap. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Junger-Tas, J., & Decker, S. H. (Eds.). (2006). International Handbook of Juvenile Justice. Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Finiukova, V. O., & Stolyar, A. M. (2011). Asymptotic Integration of One Narrow Plate Problem. In H. Altenbach & V. A. Eremeyev (Eds.), Shell-like Structures: Non-classical Theories and Applications (pp. 53–62). Springer.

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 Sciences & Humanities Open.

Blog post
Davis, J. (2017, May 4). Fungi Found In Toxic Lake Produce New Antibiotic. IFLScience; IFLScience.


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: Availability of Funds and the Cost of FY 1997 Roof Projects (T-AIMD-98-95). U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Hughes, L. L. (2010). The principalship: Preparation programs and the self-efficacy of principals [Doctoral dissertation]. George Washington University.

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
Wagner, J. (2016, August 22). Cespedes Powers the Mets Again. New York Times, D3.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Temple, 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Calka & Wexler, 2002; Temple, 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Calka & Wexler, 2002)
  • Three authors: (McMahon et al., 2001)
  • 6 or more authors: (Volpert et al., 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleSocial Sciences & Humanities Open
ISSN (print)2590-2911

Other styles