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
Sur, M. 2005 ‘Breathing life into biology’, Nature 436(7050): p.487.
A journal article with 2 authors
Melott, A.L. and Thomas, B.C. 2012 ‘Causes of an ad 774-775 14C increase’, Nature 491(7426): p.E1-2.
A journal article with 3 authors
Rompolas, P., Mesa, K.R. and Greco, V. 2013 ‘Spatial organization within a niche as a determinant of stem-cell fate’, Nature 502(7472): p.513–518.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Williams, P.A., Cosme, J., Ward, A., Angove, H.C., Matak Vinković, D. and Jhoti, H. 2003 ‘Crystal structure of human cytochrome P450 2C9 with bound warfarin’, Nature 424(6947): p.464–468.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Unmehopa, M., Vemuri, K. and Bennett, A. 2006 Parlay/OSA, Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Tazreiter, C. 2016 Fluid Security in the Asia Pacific: Transnational Lives, Human Rights and State Control 1st ed. 2016. L. Weber, S. Pickering, M. Segrave, and H. McKernan (eds), London: Palgrave Macmillan UK.
A chapter in an edited book
Yatake, K. and Aoki, T. 2010 ‘Automatic Generation of Model Checking Scripts Based on Environment Modeling’ in J. van de Pol and M. Weber (eds) Model Checking Software: 17th International SPIN Workshop, Enschede, The Netherlands, September 27-29, 2010. Proceedings, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.

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
O`Callaghan, J. 2016 ‘A SpaceX Rocket Just Exploded At Cape Canaveral In Florida’, IFLScience.


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 1992 Aviation Research: Information on Funding, Staffing, and Timing of FAA’s Research Projects, 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
Jackson, M.A. 2015 An action research study of collaborative relationhips between psychotherapists and medical doctors. Doctoral dissertation. Minneapolis, MN: Capella 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
Chung, G. 2016 ‘Chinatown Street Food vs. Mom’s’, New York Times: p.A20.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Sur 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Sur 2005; Melott and Thomas 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Melott and Thomas 2012)
  • Three authors: (Rompolas, Mesa and Greco 2013)
  • 4 or more authors: (Williams et al. 2003)

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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