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
Kroto, H.W. 2010 ‘Working at the coal face’, Nature 467(7317): p.S13.
A journal article with 2 authors
Peters, S.E. and Foote, M. 2002 ‘Determinants of extinction in the fossil record’, Nature 416(6879): p.420–424.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kurtovic, A., Widmer, A. and Dickson, B.J. 2007 ‘A single class of olfactory neurons mediates behavioural responses to a Drosophila sex pheromone’, Nature 446(7135): p.542–546.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Thordarson, P., Bijsterveld, E.J.A., Rowan, A.E. and Nolte, R.J.M. 2003 ‘Epoxidation of polybutadiene by a topologically linked catalyst’, Nature 424(6951): p.915–918.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Silva Elipe, M.V. 2011 LC-NMR and Other Hyphenated NMR Techniques, Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Nedjah, N. and Mourelle, L. de M. (eds) 2005 Fuzzy Systems Engineering: Theory and Practice, Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Vogel†, C. 2010 ‘The True Egoist Is Cooperative’ in U. J. Frey, C. Störmer, and K. P. Willführ (eds) Homo Novus – A Human Without Illusions, The Frontiers Collection. 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
Andrews, R. 2017 ‘Extremely Elusive Monkey Population Captured On Camera For First Time’, 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 2009 Telecommunications: Surveys of Consumers and of State Utility Commissions about Wireless Phone Service (GAO-10-35SP, November 2009), an E-supplement to GAO-10-34, 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
Bai, J. 2012 Development and validation of the acculturative stress scale for Chinese College Students in the United States (ASSCS). Doctoral dissertation. Bloomington, IN: Indiana 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
Lee, L. 2008 ‘Eve Thompson and Richard Robinson’, New York Times: p.ST11.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Kroto 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Kroto 2010; Peters and Foote 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Peters and Foote 2002)
  • Three authors: (Kurtovic, Widmer and Dickson 2007)
  • 4 or more authors: (Thordarson 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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