How to format your references using the American Journal of Political Science citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for American Journal of Political Science (AJPS). 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
Endy, Drew. 2005. “Foundations for engineering biology.” Nature 438(7067): 449–453.
A journal article with 2 authors
van Putten, Maurice H. P. M., and Amir Levinson. 2002. “Detecting energy emissions from a rotating black hole.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 295(5561): 1874–1877.
A journal article with 3 authors
Khashan, S. A., A. Alazzam, and E. P. Furlani. 2014. “Computational analysis of enhanced magnetic bioseparation in microfluidic systems with flow-invasive magnetic elements.” Scientific reports 4: 5299.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Matthews, Jaymie M. et al. 2004. “No stellar p-mode oscillations in space-based photometry of Procyon.” Nature 430(6995): 51–53.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Kyan, Matthew, Paisarn Muneesawang, Kambiz Jarrah, and Ling Guan. 2014. Unsupervised Learning. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Vincenti, Giovanni, Alberto Bucciero, and Carlos Vaz de Carvalho, eds. 2016. 160 E-Learning, E-Education, and Online Training: Second International Conference, eLEOT 2015, Novedrate, Italy, September 16-18, 2015, Revised Selected Papers. 1st ed. 2016. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Xiao, Yingyuan, Pengqiang Ai, Hongya Wang, Ching-Hsien Hsu, et al. 2015. “Efficient Location-Dependent Skyline Queries in Wireless Broadcast Environments.” In Web Technologies and Applications: 17th Asia-Pacific Web Conference, APWeb 2015, Guangzhou, China, September 18-20, 2015, Proceedings, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, eds. Reynold Cheng et al. Cham: Springer International Publishing, p. 41–54.

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 American Journal of Political Science.

Blog post
Andrew, Elise. 2015. “Amazing Video Takes You INSIDE The Largest Photograph Ever Taken.” IFLScience. (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. 1972. Examination Into Certain Irregularities Reported as Existing at the Department of Labor Atterbury Job Corps Center near Edinburg, Indiana. 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
Ehigiator, Oziengbe Junior. 2015. “A Closed Loop Control System for Pressure and Flow Detection Using a Vibrating String Transducer.” Doctoral dissertation. University of Louisiana.

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
Crow, Kelly. 2002. “The New Commitments.” New York Times: 144.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Endy 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Endy 2005; van Putten and Levinson 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (van Putten and Levinson 2002)
  • Three authors: (Khashan, Alazzam, and Furlani 2014)
  • 4 or more authors: (Matthews et al. 2004)

About the journal

Full journal titleAmerican Journal of Political Science
AbbreviationAm. J. Pol. Sci.
ISSN (print)0092-5853
ISSN (online)1540-5907
ScopeSociology and Political Science
Political Science and International Relations

Other styles