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
Mervis, J. 2000. “RESEARCH POLICY: Report Tracks Federal Funding in Each State.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 288(5474): 2115b.
A journal article with 2 authors
Young, Larry J., and Catherine E. Barrett. 2015. “Neuroscience. Can oxytocin treat autism?” Science (New York, N.Y.) 347(6224): 825–826.
A journal article with 3 authors
Foster, Simmie L., Diana C. Hargreaves, and Ruslan Medzhitov. 2007. “Gene-specific control of inflammation by TLR-induced chromatin modifications.” Nature 447(7147): 972–978.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Rudoy, John D., Joel L. Voss, Carmen E. Westerberg, and Ken A. Paller. 2009. “Strengthening individual memories by reactivating them during sleep.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 326(5956): 1079.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Stoute, Kees. 2014. Help, I’m Rich! Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Stephanidis, Constantine, ed. 2014. 435 HCI International 2014 - Posters’ Extended Abstracts: International Conference, HCI International 2014, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, June 22-27, 2014. Proceedings, Part II. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Liang, Xinghua, Mohamed S. Ebeida, and Yongjie Zhang. 2009. “Guaranteed-Quality All-Quadrilateral Mesh Generation with Feature Preservation.” In Proceedings of the 18th International Meshing Roundtable, ed. Brett W. Clark. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, p. 45–63.

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
Luntz, Stephen. 2014. “Students Cooperate Using Brain-To-Brain Communication.” 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. 1993. Mass Transit: FTA’s Projections Could Better Reflect State and Local Needs. 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
Tate, Krista J. 2014. “Utilizing Canines in a Public School Setting: A Case Study.” Doctoral dissertation. Lindenwood 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
Greenhouse, Linda. 2006. “Supreme Court Allows Arizona To Use New Voter-ID Procedure.” New York Times: A10.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Mervis 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Mervis 2000; Young and Barrett 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Young and Barrett 2015)
  • Three authors: (Foster, Hargreaves, and Medzhitov 2007)
  • 4 or more authors: (Rudoy, Voss, Westerberg, and Paller 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

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