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
O’Callaghan, T. Introduction: The Prevention Agenda. Nature 2011, 471, S2-4.
A journal article with 2 authors
Diamond, A.; Lee, K. Interventions Shown to Aid Executive Function Development in Children 4 to 12 Years Old. Science 2011, 333, 959–964.
A journal article with 3 authors
Wyckoff, G.J.; Wang, W.; Wu, C.I. Rapid Evolution of Male Reproductive Genes in the Descent of Man. Nature 2000, 403, 304–309.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Bernal-Mizrachi, C.; Gates, A.C.; Weng, S.; Imamura, T.; Knutsen, R.H.; DeSantis, P.; Coleman, T.; Townsend, R.R.; Muglia, L.J.; Semenkovich, C.F. Vascular Respiratory Uncoupling Increases Blood Pressure and Atherosclerosis. Nature 2005, 435, 502–506.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Snell, R.S.; Lemp, M.A. Clinical Anatomy of the Eye; Blackwell Science Ltd,.: Oxford, UK, 1997; ISBN 9781118690987.
An edited book
Hu, J. Nonlinear Stochastic Systems with Network-Induced Phenomena: Recursive Filtering and Sliding-Mode Design; Wang, Z., Gao, H., Eds.; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2015; ISBN 9783319087108.
A chapter in an edited book
Lazarovici, T.S.; Yoffe, T. Epidemiology of Medication-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw. In Medication-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaws: Bisphosphonates, Denosumab, and New Agents; Otto, S., Ed.; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2015; pp. 55–61 ISBN 9783662437322.

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
Davis, J. 2016 Officially Saw Great Barrier Reef Suffer Worst Bleaching Ever Recorded Available online: (accessed on 30 October 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 NASA-Ames Research Center Should Not Have Awarded Computational Services Contract to SBA and Technology Development of California; 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
Than, K. The Impact of Companion Pets on the Well-Being of Older Adults. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach: Long Beach, CA, 2015.

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
Pilon, M. With Gadgetry, New York Race May Be Watched Like No Other. New York Times 2014, D6.

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

Other styles