How to format your references using the The British Journal of Sociology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for The British Journal of 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
Abbott, A. 2010 ‘Levodopa: the story so far’, Nature 466(7310): p.S6-7.
A journal article with 2 authors
Shinar, G. and Feinberg, M. 2010 ‘Structural sources of robustness in biochemical reaction networks’, Science (New York, N.Y.) 327(5971): p.1389–1391.
A journal article with 3 authors
Labidi, J., Cartigny, P. and Moreira, M. 2013 ‘Non-chondritic sulphur isotope composition of the terrestrial mantle’, Nature 501(7466): p.208–211.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Xu, X., Tan, Q., Wang, J., Zhao, X. and Tan, L. 2007 ‘A gigantic bird-like dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of China’, Nature 447(7146): p.844–847.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
French, M., Szepesvári, C. and Rogers, E. 2005 Performance of Nonlinear Approximate Adaptive Controllers, Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
McAlpine, S.R. and Edkins, A.L. (eds) 2016 Heat Shock Protein Inhibitors: Success Stories 1st ed. 2016., Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Thaman, K.H. 2007 ‘Partnerships for Progressing Cultural Democracy in Teacher Education in Pacific Island Countries’ in T. Townsend and R. Bates (eds) Handbook of Teacher Education, Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

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 The British Journal of Sociology.

Blog post
Andrew, D. 2016 ‘Why Protective Parenting Is Key For The Survival Of Tropical Insects’, IFLScience. Available at: [Accessed October 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 1974 Survival of Higher Education in the Years Ahead, 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
Huang, J. 2013 Multispectral Imaging of Skin Oxygenation. Doctoral dissertation. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University.

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
Shpigel, B. 2017 ‘Top Safety From L.S.U. With Reputation for Intensity Drops Into Jets’ Lap at No. 6’, New York Times: p.B10.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Brasaemle 2006).
This sentence cites two references (Ganem 2001; Reiffel 2000).

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

  • Two authors: (Shinar and Feinberg 2010)
  • Three authors: (Labidi, Cartigny and Moreira 2013)
  • 4 or more authors: (Striemer et al. 2007)

About the journal

Full journal titleThe British Journal of Sociology
AbbreviationBr. J. Sociol.
ISSN (print)0007-1315
ISSN (online)1468-4446
ScopeSociology and Political Science

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