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
Brody, H. 2012 ‘Editorial: taste’, Nature 486(7403): p.S1.
A journal article with 2 authors
Lee, G.M. and Craik, C.S. 2009 ‘Trapping moving targets with small molecules’, Science (New York, N.Y.) 324(5924): p.213–215.
A journal article with 3 authors
Fan, H.C., Fu, G.K. and Fodor, S.P.A. 2015 ‘Expression profiling. Combinatorial labeling of single cells for gene expression cytometry’, Science (New York, N.Y.) 347(6222): p.1258367.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Coles, V.J., Stukel, M.R., Brooks, M.T., Burd, A., Crump, B.C., Moran, M.A., Paul, J.H., Satinsky, B.M., Yager, P.L., Zielinski, B.L. and Hood, R.R. 2017 ‘Ocean biogeochemistry modeled with emergent trait-based genomics’, Science (New York, N.Y.) 358(6367): p.1149–1154.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Baker, K.R. 2011 Optimization Modeling with Spreadsheets, Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Diop, S., Scheren, P. and Ferdinand Machiwa, J. (eds) 2016 Estuaries: A Lifeline of Ecosystem Services in the Western Indian Ocean, Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Luo, G., Jin, H.M., Bin, L., Wang, H.-Y., Huang, X., Zhou, H., Zhu, L., Yang, J., Wang, Q., Xiang, X. and Chen, N. 2015 ‘Abnormal Development of the Vagina’ in L. Zhu, F. Wong, and J. Lang (eds) Atlas of Surgical Correction of Female Genital Malformation, 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, E. 2015 ‘Restoring And Conserving Nature In The Anthropocene Means Changing Our Idea Of Success’, 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 1987 Air Traffic Control: FAA Should Avoid Duplication in Procuring a Traffic Management System, 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
Pope, C. 2010 Words in the Garden. Doctoral dissertation. Carpinteria, CA: Pacifica Graduate Institute.

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
Brantley, B. 2016 ‘An Odder Couple Takes the Stage’, New York Times: p.C1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Brody 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Brody 2012; Lee and Craik 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Lee and Craik 2009)
  • Three authors: (Fan, Fu and Fodor 2015)
  • 4 or more authors: (Coles et al. 2017)

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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