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
Willyard, C. (2014). Thrombosis: Balancing act. Nature, 515(7528), S168-9.
A journal article with 2 authors
Grzybowski, B. A., & Whitesides, G. M. (2002). Dynamic aggregation of chiral spinners. Science (New York, N.Y.), 296(5568), 718–721.
A journal article with 3 authors
Sellman, B. R., Mourez, M., & Collier, R. J. (2001). Dominant-negative mutants of a toxin subunit: an approach to therapy of anthrax. Science (New York, N.Y.), 292(5517), 695–697.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Quigg, A., Finkel, Z. V., Irwin, A. J., Rosenthal, Y., Ho, T.-Y., Reinfelder, J. R., Schofield, O., Morel, F. M. M., & Falkowski, P. G. (2003). The evolutionary inheritance of elemental stoichiometry in marine phytoplankton. Nature, 425(6955), 291–294.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chu, P. P. (2006). RTL Hardware Design Using VHDL. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Richards, J. A. (2006). Remote Sensing Digital Image Analysis: An Introduction (X. Jia, Ed.; 4th Edition). Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Shanthakumar, E. R., & Cheong, G. P.-C. (2015). Enhanced Recovery. In K.-Y. Tan (Ed.), Transdisciplinary Perioperative Care in Colorectal Surgery: An Integrative Approach (pp. 77–92). 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
Taub, B. (2016, July 8). Pre-Aztec Skull With Stone-Encrusted Teeth Discovered At Ancient City In Mexico. 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. (1980). Comments on Claim Against Mississippi for Disallowed Educational Grant Expenditures (B-198493). 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
Razo, S. I. (2009). Parenting practices of Latina mothers and children’s behavior outcomes [Doctoral dissertation]. California State University, Long Beach.

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
Donohue, J. J., Iii, & Schoening, M. (2017, January 9). The Grim Reaper of Alabama. New York Times, A17.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Willyard, 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Grzybowski & Whitesides, 2002; Willyard, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Grzybowski & Whitesides, 2002)
  • Three authors: (Sellman et al., 2001)
  • 6 or more authors: (Quigg et al., 2003)

About the journal

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

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