How to format your references using the Sociology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Sociology. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Young RC (2000) The sounds of silence. Nature 408(6809): 141.
A journal article with 2 authors
McKee CF and Tan JC (2002) Massive star formation in 100,000 years from turbulent and pressurized molecular clouds. Nature 416(6876): 59–61.
A journal article with 3 authors
Christensen UR, Holzwarth V and Reiners A (2009) Energy flux determines magnetic field strength of planets and stars. Nature 457(7226): 167–169.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Osaka M, Yaoi K, Minamoto T, et al. (2014) Serial changes of humor comprehension for four-frame comic Manga: an fMRI study. Scientific reports 4: 5828.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Gleeson K (2008) The Personal Efficiency Program. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Griebel M and Schweitzer MA (eds) (2015) Meshfree Methods for Partial Differential Equations VII. Lecture Notes in Computational Science and Engineering. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Valdez-Hernández M (2015) Vegetative and Reproductive Plant Phenology. In: Islebe GA, Calmé S, León-Cortés JL, et al. (eds) Biodiversity and Conservation of the Yucatán Peninsula. Cham: Springer International Publishing, pp. 57–96.

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 Sociology.

Blog post
Andrew E (2015) From Chimps To Bees And Bacteria, How Animals Hold Elections. IFLScience. Available at: (accessed 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 (2009) Information Technology: Federal Agencies Need to Strengthen Investment Board Oversight of Poorly Planned and Performing Projects. GAO-09-566, 30 June. Washington, DC: 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
Liburd-Shaddai JL (2012) The experiences of remedial instructors at one urban community college: A case study. Doctoral dissertation. Capella University, Minneapolis, MN.

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
Stevenson A (2017) Big Investors Ripe for a Fight. New York Times, 25 April.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Young, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (McKee and Tan, 2002; Young, 2000).

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

  • Two authors: (McKee and Tan, 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Osaka et al., 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleSociology
ISSN (print)0038-0385
ISSN (online)1469-8684
ScopeSociology and Political Science

Other styles