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
Crow, James Mitchell. 2013. “Insomnia: chasing the dream.” Nature 497(7450): S16-8.
A journal article with 2 authors
Watson-Capps, Jana J., and Thomas R. Cech. 2014. “Academia and industry: Companies on campus.” Nature 514(7522): 297–298.
A journal article with 3 authors
Chang, Mee-Mann, Jiangyong Zhang, and Desui Miao. 2006. “A lamprey from the Cretaceous Jehol biota of China.” Nature 441(7096): 972–974.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Wiederhecker, Gustavo S., Long Chen, Alexander Gondarenko, and Michal Lipson. 2009. “Controlling photonic structures using optical forces.” Nature 462(7273): 633–636.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Aït-Kadi, Daoud, Marc Chouinard, Suzanne Marcotte, and Diane Riopel. 2012. Sustainable Reverse Logistics Network. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Veziroğlu, Ayfer, and Marat Tsitskishvili, eds. 2013. Black Sea Energy Resource Development and Hydrogen Energy Problems. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Dizon, Eusebio Z. 2016. “Underwater Archaeology of the San Diego a 1600 Spanish Galleon in the Philippines.” In Early Navigation in the Asia-Pacific Region: A Maritime Archaeological Perspective, ed. Chunming Wu. Singapore: Springer, p. 91–102.

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. “Poll Shows 41% of American Adults Believe Antibiotics Treat Viruses.” 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. 1996. Mass Transit: Actions Needed for the BART Airport Extension. 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
Revzin, Naomi Tischler. 2010. “From selling rags to wearing riches: German Jews’ economic progress in the first half of the nineteenth century.” Doctoral dissertation. University of Maryland, College Park.

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
Brantley, Ben. 2016. “A Pot of Gold Has to Be Good, Right?” New York Times: C1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Crow 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Crow 2013; Watson-Capps and Cech 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Watson-Capps and Cech 2014)
  • Three authors: (Chang, Zhang, and Miao 2006)
  • 4 or more authors: (Wiederhecker, Chen, Gondarenko, and Lipson 2009)

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