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
Valadkhan, Saba. 2005. “Young Scientist Award essay winner. Construction of a minimal, protein-free spliceosome.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 307(5711): 863–864.
A journal article with 2 authors
Mello, Craig C., and Darryl Conte Jr. 2004. “Revealing the world of RNA interference.” Nature 431(7006): 338–342.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ivany, L. C., W. P. Patterson, and K. C. Lohmann. 2000. “Cooler winters as a possible cause of mass extinctions at the Eocene/Oligocene boundary.” Nature 407(6806): 887–890.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Mogi, Iwao, Ryoichi Morimoto, Ryoichi Aogaki, and Kazuo Watanabe. 2013. “Surface chirality induced by rotational electrodeposition in magnetic fields.” Scientific reports 3: 2574.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Tang, Chunlei. 2016. The Data Industry: The Business and Economics of Information and Big Data. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Hoffmeister, Dirk, ed. 2016. III Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 3rd ed. 2016. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Chalkias, Athanasios, and Nicoletta Iacovidou. 2016. “Diagnostic Biomarkers of Acute Kidney Injury in Newborns.” In Biomarkers in Kidney Disease, eds. Vinood B. Patel and Victor R. Preedy. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, p. 27–40.

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. 2015. “Cosmic Lighthouse Disappears From View.” 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. 1978. Contributions to the Theory and Practice of Management. 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
Liang, Chung-Che. 2013. “Fate of bacterial and viral indicators in an advanced wastewater treatment plant.” 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
Barron, James. 2016. “Museum to Give Lady Liberty’s Crowds More to Do Than Snap Selfies.” New York Times: A22.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Valadkhan 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Mello and Conte 2004; Valadkhan 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Mello and Conte 2004)
  • Three authors: (Ivany, Patterson, and Lohmann 2000)
  • 4 or more authors: (Mogi, Morimoto, Aogaki, and Watanabe 2013)

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