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
Smol, John P. 2012. “Climate Change: A planet in flux.” Nature 483(7387): S12-5.
A journal article with 2 authors
Friedman, James S., and Michael A. Walter. 2002. “Biomedicine. Under pressure.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 295(5557): 983–984.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ingle, Nicholas J. C., Malcolm R. Beasley, and Theodore H. Geballe. 2002. “Superconductivity in a spin-ladder cuprate.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 295(5562): 1967.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Cristescu, Razvan et al. 2018. “Pan-tumor genomic biomarkers for PD-1 checkpoint blockade-based immunotherapy.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 362(6411).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Leddra, Michael. 2010. Time Matters. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Kuhn, Max. 2013. Applied Predictive Modeling. ed. Kjell Johnson. New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Hahn, Horst K., Manfred Georg, and Heinz-Otto Peitgen. 2005. “Fractal Aspects of Three-Dimensional Vascular Constructive Optimization.” In Fractals in Biology and Medicine, Mathematics and Biosciences in Interaction, eds. Gabriele A. Losa et al. Basel: Birkhäuser, p. 55–66.

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
Davis, Josh. 2016. “Rats Smile With Their Ears.” 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. 1998. Surface Transportation: Issues Associated With Pipeline Regulation by the Surface Transportation Board. 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
Lee, Soo Bum. 2009. “Localizing the effects of link flooding attacks in the Internet.” 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
Wagner, James. 2017. “His Slump in the Past, a Met Ensures His Teammates’ Struggles Matter Less.” New York Times: B12.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Nelson 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Conard 2009; Mooers 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Friedman and Walter 2002)
  • Three authors: (Ingle, Beasley, and Geballe 2002)
  • 4 or more authors: (Ourjoumtsev, Jeong, Tualle-Brouri, and Grangier 2007)

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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