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
Fadri-Moskwik, Maria. 2015. “Love knows no boundaries.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 348(6231): 254.
A journal article with 2 authors
Murphy, John J., and Paolo Melchiorre. 2015. “Organic chemistry: Light opens pathways for nickel catalysis.” Nature 524(7565): 297–298.
A journal article with 3 authors
Collins, Francis S., Elizabeth L. Wilder, and Elias Zerhouni. 2014. “Funding transdisciplinary research. NIH Roadmap/Common Fund at 10 years.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 345(6194): 274–276.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Mossman, Kaspar D., Gabriele Campi, Jay T. Groves, and Michael L. Dustin. 2005. “Altered TCR signaling from geometrically repatterned immunological synapses.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 310(5751): 1191–1193.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Teodorescu, Petre P., Wilhelm W. Kecs, and Antonela Toma. 2013. Distribution Theory. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Vijay, Veer, and Reji Gopalakrishnan, eds. 2016. Herbal Insecticides, Repellents and Biomedicines: Effectiveness and Commercialization. 1st ed. 2016. New Delhi: Springer India.
A chapter in an edited book
Anselmo, Marcella, and Maria Madonia. 2011. “Comparing Necessary Conditions for Recognizability of Two-Dimensional Languages.” In Algebraic Informatics: 4th International Conference, CAI 2011, Linz, Austria, June 21-24, 2011. Proceedings, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ed. Franz Winkler. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, p. 84–96.

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. “Improved Data Set Shows No Global Warming ‘Hiatus.’” 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. 2007. Environmental Satellite Acquisitions: Progress and Challenges. 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
Swann, Elizabeth. 2014. “Adult learning for healthy aging: An investigation of health literacy and technology use in older adults.” Doctoral dissertation. Florida Atlantic 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
Pilon, Mary. 2014. “Tennessee Set to Drop Tax.” New York Times: B15.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Fadri-Moskwik 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Fadri-Moskwik 2015; Murphy and Melchiorre 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Murphy and Melchiorre 2015)
  • Three authors: (Collins, Wilder, and Zerhouni 2014)
  • 4 or more authors: (Mossman, Campi, Groves, and Dustin 2005)

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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