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
Conklin, Bruce R. 2009. “Journal club. A geneticist wonders why we need to sleep.” Nature 461(7264): 573.
A journal article with 2 authors
Carvalho, Antonio Bernardo, and Andrew G. Clark. 2005. “Y chromosome of D. pseudoobscura is not homologous to the ancestral Drosophila Y.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 307(5706): 108–110.
A journal article with 3 authors
Giannini, A., R. Saravanan, and P. Chang. 2003. “Oceanic forcing of Sahel rainfall on interannual to interdecadal time scales.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 302(5647): 1027–1030.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Volkman, B. F., D. Lipson, D. E. Wemmer, and D. Kern. 2001. “Two-state allosteric behavior in a single-domain signaling protein.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 291(5512): 2429–2433.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bard, John, and Vincent J. Kovarik Jr. 2007. Software Defined Radio. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Ghasemi, Abdollah. 2012. Propagation Engineering in Wireless Communications. 1st ed. eds. Ali Abedi and Farshid Ghasemi. New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Inderbitzin, Michelle, Trevor Walraven, and James Anderson. 2016. “Leading by Example: Ways That Prisoners Give Back to Their Communities.” In The Voluntary Sector in Prisons: Encouraging Personal and Institutional Change, eds. Laura S. Abrams et al. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan US, p. 85–114.

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. “Man Talks To Possum, And The Possum Talks Back.” 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. 2009. Higher Education: Approaches to Attract and Fund International Students in the United States and Abroad. 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
Ibarra, Alberto Luis. 2017. “Novice Clinicians and the Experience of Transcendence in Clinical Training and Supervision.” Doctoral dissertation. Pepperdine 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
Pennington, Bill. 2016. “Youth Sports Go Broke as Trusted Adults Steal.” New York Times: A1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Conklin 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Carvalho and Clark 2005; Conklin 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Carvalho and Clark 2005)
  • Three authors: (Giannini, Saravanan, and Chang 2003)
  • 4 or more authors: (Volkman, Lipson, Wemmer, and Kern 2001)

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

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