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
Halzen, F. 2007 ‘Neutrino astrophysics experiments beneath the sea and ice’, Science (New York, N.Y.) 315(5808): p.66–68.
A journal article with 2 authors
Kim, S.V. and Flavell, R.A. 2004 ‘Immunology. CD8alphaalpha and T cell memory’, Science (New York, N.Y.) 304(5670): p.529–530.
A journal article with 3 authors
Barwick, B., Flannigan, D.J. and Zewail, A.H. 2009 ‘Photon-induced near-field electron microscopy’, Nature 462(7275): p.902–906.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Li, W., Feng, Z., Sternberg, P.W. and Xu, X.Z.S. 2006 ‘A C. elegans stretch receptor neuron revealed by a mechanosensitive TRP channel homologue’, Nature 440(7084): p.684–687.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Giesbrecht, F.G. and Gumpertz, M.L. 2005 Planning, Construction, and Statistical Analysis of Comparative Experiments: Giesbrecht/Comparative Experiments, Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Emigh, R.J. 2016 Changes in Censuses from Imperialist to Welfare States: How Societies and States Count D. Riley and P. Ahmed (eds), New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan US.
A chapter in an edited book
Matloff, G., Bangs, C. and Johnson, L. 2014 ‘The Environmental Dilemma: Progress or Collapse?’ in C. Bangs and L. Johnson (eds) Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth, New York, NY: 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
Andrew, E. 2014 ‘Biggest Scientific Hoaxes of 2014’, 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 1990 Forest Service Not Ready to Acquire a Nationwide Geographic Information 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
Florio, M.L. 2012 Assessing the impacts of knowing natural team player styles on team satisfaction and cohesion. Doctoral dissertation. Malibu, CA: Pepperdine 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
Wilson, M. 2017 ‘Sentencing Will Provide Coda for Television Producer’s Real Crime Drama’, New York Times: p.A21.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Halzen 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Halzen 2007; Kim and Flavell 2004).

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

  • Two authors: (Kim and Flavell 2004)
  • Three authors: (Barwick, Flannigan and Zewail 2009)
  • 4 or more authors: (Li et al. 2006)

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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