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
Schiermeier, Q. German Greens Go Cold on Nuclear Fusion. Nature 2000, 405, 107.
A journal article with 2 authors
Pahnke, K.; Zahn, R. Southern Hemisphere Water Mass Conversion Linked with North Atlantic Climate Variability. Science 2005, 307, 1741–1746.
A journal article with 3 authors
Bahmani, B.; Bacon, D.; Anvari, B. Erythrocyte-Derived Photo-Theranostic Agents: Hybrid Nano-Vesicles Containing Indocyanine Green for near Infrared Imaging and Therapeutic Applications. Sci. Rep. 2013, 3, 2180.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Méndez-Ferrer, S.; Lucas, D.; Battista, M.; Frenette, P.S. Haematopoietic Stem Cell Release Is Regulated by Circadian Oscillations. Nature 2008, 452, 442–447.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Calloway, J. Becoming a Category of One; Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ, 2009; ISBN 9781118256176.
An edited book
Bottom-Up Self-Organization in Supramolecular Soft Matter: Principles and Prototypical Examples of Recent Advances; Müller, S.C., Parisi, J., Eds.; Springer Series in Materials Science; 1st ed. 2015.; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2015; Vol. 217; ISBN 9783319194097.
A chapter in an edited book
Basic, N.; Lipovac, V.; Lipovac, A. Practical Analysis of XDR Based Signaling Network Performance and End-to-End QoS. In Networked Digital Technologies: 4th International Conference, NDT 2012, Dubai, UAE, April 24-26, 2012, Proceedings, Part II; Benlamri, R., Ed.; Communications in Computer and Information Science; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2012; pp. 34–45 ISBN 9783642305665.

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. Meet The World’s Most-Traded, Least-Known Mammal 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 Space Station: Cost Control Problems Are Worsening; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1997;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Gomez, V.A. La Lucha Sigue: Undocumented Students Challenging Anti-Immigrant Discourses. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach: Long Beach, CA, 2017.

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
Murphy, M.J.O. For St. Patrick’s Day Parade 1855, Snow on the Clover. New York Times 2016, C26.

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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