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
Smaglik, P. 2002 ‘Building cooperation New York’, Nature 419(6905): p.4–5.
A journal article with 2 authors
Hellweg, S. and Milà i Canals, L. 2014 ‘Emerging approaches, challenges and opportunities in life cycle assessment’, Science (New York, N.Y.) 344(6188): p.1109–1113.
A journal article with 3 authors
Dolan, J.F., Christofferson, S.A. and Shaw, J.H. 2003 ‘Recognition of paleoearthquakes on the Puente Hills blind thrust fault, California’, Science (New York, N.Y.) 300(5616): p.115–118.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Ohlrogge, J., Allen, D., Berguson, B., Dellapenna, D., Shachar-Hill, Y. and Stymne, S. 2009 ‘Energy. Driving on biomass’, Science (New York, N.Y.) 324(5930): p.1019–1020.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Zhang, P.G. and Chan, T. 2011 The Chinese Yuan, 2 Clementi Loop, #02-01, Singapore 129809: John Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pte. Ltd.
An edited book
Hakeem, K.R., Jawaid, M. and Rashid, U. (eds) 2014 Biomass and Bioenergy: Processing and Properties, Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Hoang, M.P. and Mihm, M.C. 2014 ‘Spindle and Epithelioid Cell (Spitz) Nevus and Variants’ in M. P. Hoang and M. C. Mihm Jr. (eds) Melanocytic Lesions: A Case Based Approach, 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, D. 2015 ‘Turkish Lake Has Turned Blood Red’, 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 2007 Telecommunications: FCC Should Take Steps to Ensure Equal Access to Rulemaking Information, 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
Wolff, A. 2013 PRIDE: A psycho-educational peer support group for LGBTIQ youth: A grant proposal. Doctoral dissertation. Long Beach, CA: California State University, Long Beach.

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
Markoff, J. 2017 ‘Shhh! That Helpful Robot May Pose a Security Risk’, New York Times: p.B6.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Smaglik 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Smaglik 2002; Hellweg and Milà i Canals 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Hellweg and Milà i Canals 2014)
  • Three authors: (Dolan, Christofferson and Shaw 2003)
  • 4 or more authors: (Ohlrogge et al. 2009)

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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