How to format your references using the Theory and Society citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Theory and Society. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Harra, L. K. (2014). Astronomy. Looking closer at the Sun. Science (New York, N.Y.), 346(6207), 305–306.
A journal article with 2 authors
Pagliarini, R. A., & Xu, T. (2003). A genetic screen in Drosophila for metastatic behavior. Science (New York, N.Y.), 302(5648), 1227–1231.
A journal article with 3 authors
Holmberg, V. C., Panthani, M. G., & Korgel, B. A. (2009). Phase transitions, melting dynamics, and solid-state diffusion in a nano test tube. Science (New York, N.Y.), 326(5951), 405–407.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Williams, R. S. B., Cheng, L., Mudge, A. W., & Harwood, A. J. (2002). A common mechanism of action for three mood-stabilizing drugs. Nature, 417(6886), 292–295.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Prutchi, D., & Norris, M. (2004). Design and Development of Medical Electronic Instrumentation. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Kroneck, P. M. H., & Torres, M. E. S. (Eds.). (2014). The Metal-Driven Biogeochemistry of Gaseous Compounds in the Environment (Vol. 14). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Shibusawa, R., Otsuka, T., & Sugawara, T. (2016). Spread of Cooperation in Complex Agent Networks Based on Expectation of Cooperation. In M. Baldoni, A. K. Chopra, T. C. Son, K. Hirayama, & P. Torroni (Eds.), PRIMA 2016: Principles and Practice of Multi-Agent Systems: 19th International Conference, Phuket, Thailand, August 22-26, 2016, Proceedings (pp. 76–91). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

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 Theory and Society.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2014, December 16). Curiosity Catches A Whiff Of Methane On Mars – And A Possibility Of Past Life. IFLScience. IFLScience. Accessed 30 October 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. (1996). Tax Systems Modernization: Cyberfile Project Was Poorly Planned and Managed (No. AIMD-96-140). 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
Vail, A. S. (2012). The gift of noetic image: Spontaneous imagery and psychological well-being in women with breast cancer (Doctoral dissertation). Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, CA.

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
Gordon, M. R., & Simons, M. (2017, July 19). War Crimes Office May Be Shuttered As Tillerson Reorganizes State Dept. New York Times, p. A16.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Harra 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Harra 2014; Pagliarini and Xu 2003).

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

  • Two authors: (Pagliarini and Xu 2003)
  • Three or more authors: (Williams et al. 2002)

About the journal

Full journal titleTheory and Society
AbbreviationTheory Soc.
ISSN (print)0304-2421
ISSN (online)1573-7853
Sociology and Political Science

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