How to format your references using the Social Sciences citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Social Sciences. 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
Philander, S.G. Atmospheric science. Tilting at connections, from pole to equator. Science 2010, 328, 1488–1489.
A journal article with 2 authors
Shraiman, B.I.; Siggia, E.D. Scalar turbulence. Nature 2000, 405, 639–646.
A journal article with 3 authors
Chrysostomou, A.; Lucas, P.W.; Hough, J.H. Circular polarimetry reveals helical magnetic fields in the young stellar object HH 135-136. Nature 2007, 450, 71–73.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Xu, X.-H.; Su, Z.-Z.; Wang, C.; Kubicek, C.P.; Feng, X.-X.; Mao, L.-J.; Wang, J.-Y.; Chen, C.; Lin, F.-C.; Zhang, C.-L. The rice endophyte Harpophora oryzae genome reveals evolution from a pathogen to a mutualistic endophyte. Sci. Rep. 2014, 4, 5783.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Köhler, M. Nanotechnologie; Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA: Weinheim, FRG, 2005; ISBN 9783527603305.
An edited book
Structures on the Move: Technologies of Governance in Transcultural Encounter; Flüchter, A., Richter, S., Eds.; Transcultural Research – Heidelberg Studies on Asia and Europe in a Global Context; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2012; ISBN 9783642192876.
A chapter in an edited book
Landriani, L.; Pozzoli, M. Management of Cultural Heritage System in Italy. In Management and Valuation of Heritage Assets: A Comparative Analysis Between Italy and USA; Pozzoli, M., Ed.; SpringerBriefs in Business; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2014; pp. 55–98 ISBN 9783319017624.

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.

Blog post
Andrew, D. Scientists Just Discovered A Secret American Manuscript That Was Hidden Under Paint For 500 Years Available online: (accessed on Oct 30, 2018).


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 Telecommunications Security and Privacy; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1983;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Papacostaki, M. Under the black sun. Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute: Carpinteria, CA, 2010.

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. Lugo’s Tear to Cost Him Two Weeks, Minimum. New York Times 2017, B9.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [1].
This sentence cites two references [1,2].
This sentence cites four references [1–4].

About the journal

Full journal titleSocial Sciences
AbbreviationSoc. Sci. (Basel)
ISSN (online)2076-0760

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