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
Triendl, R. Computerized role models. Nature 2002, 417, 7.
A journal article with 2 authors
Zhu, H.; Bunn, H.F. Signal transduction. How do cells sense oxygen? Science 2001, 292, 449–451.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ferrier, K.L.; Huppert, K.L.; Perron, J.T. Climatic control of bedrock river incision. Nature 2013, 496, 206–209.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Mendil, J.; Nieves, P.; Chubykalo-Fesenko, O.; Walowski, J.; Santos, T.; Pisana, S.; Münzenberg, M. Resolving the role of femtosecond heated electrons in ultrafast spin dynamics. Sci. Rep. 2014, 4, 3980.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Moloney, M.G. How to Solve Organic Reaction Mechanisms; John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester, UK, 2015; ISBN 9781118698532.
An edited book
Surveilling and Securing the Olympics: From Tokyo 1964 to London 2012 and Beyond; Bajc, V., Ed.; Transnational Crime, Crime Control and Security; Palgrave Macmillan UK: London, 2016; ISBN 9781349573523.
A chapter in an edited book
Smirnov, A.; Kashevnik, A.; Shilov, N.; Oliver, I.; Balandin, S.; Boldyrev, S. Anonymous Agent Coordination in Smart Spaces: State-of-the-Art. In Smart Spaces and Next Generation Wired/Wireless Networking: 9th International Conference, NEW2AN 2009 and Second Conference on Smart Spaces, ruSMART 2009, St. Petersburg, Russia, September 15-18, 2009. Proceedings; Balandin, S., Moltchanov, D., Koucheryavy, Y., Eds.; Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2009; pp. 42–51 ISBN 9783642041884.

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, E. 7 Deep Sea Dwellers Who Hardly Look Like Animals At All (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 Federal Funds Misused by the School System in Trimble County, Kentucky; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1971;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Leal, L.S. Pair correlations in clean magnetic Josephson junctions. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach: Long Beach, CA, 2016.

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. In World of Finance, She Has Already Driven the Green. New York Times 2012, 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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