How to format your references using the American Journal of Science citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for American Journal of Science (AJS). 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
Spurgeon, D., 2001, Farmer fined for growing GM seed: Nature, v. 410, p. 615.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ravi, M., and Chan, S. W. L., 2010, Haploid plants produced by centromere-mediated genome elimination: Nature, v. 464, p. 615–618.
A journal article with 3 authors
Jiang, W.-L., He, H.-W., and Yang, Z.-J., 2014, The angiotensinogen gene polymorphism is associated with heart failure among Asians: Scientific reports, v. 4, p. 4207.
A journal article with 15 or more authors
Han, J.-H., Kushner, S. A., Yiu, A. P., Hsiang, H.-L. L., Buch, T., Waisman, A., Bontempi, B., Neve, R. L., Frankland, P. W., and Josselyn, S. A., 2009, Selective erasure of a fear memory: Science (New York, N.Y.), v. 323, p. 1492–1496.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Aksamija, A., 2016, Integrating Innovation in Architecture: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford, UK.
An edited book
vom Brocke, J., Seidel, S., and Recker, J., editors, 2012, Green Business Process Management: Towards the Sustainable Enterprise: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, XII, 252 p p.
A chapter in an edited book
Alber, Y., and Ryazantseva, I., 2006, APPLICATIONS OF THE REGULARIZATION METHODS, in Ryazantseva, I. ed., Nonlinear Ill-posed Problems of Monotone Type: Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, p. 259–310.

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 Science.

Blog post
Carpineti, A., 2016, Star’s Gas Binge Might Tell Us How Planets Form, accessed October 30, 2018, at IFLScience at


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, 1999, Information Technology: Comments on Proposed OMB Guidance for Implementing the Government Paperwork Elimination Act: U.S. Government Printing Office AIMD-99-228R.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Bracht, K. D., 2010, Causes of nonattendance and its effect on student achievement at the high school level:

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
Johnson, G., 2014, Creation, in the Eye of the Beholder: New York Times, p. D3.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Spurgeon, 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Ravi and Chan, 2010; Spurgeon, 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Ravi and Chan, 2010)
  • Three or more authors: (Han and others, 2009)

About the journal

Full journal titleAmerican Journal of Science
AbbreviationAm. J. Sci.
ISSN (print)0002-9599
ISSN (online)1945-452x
ScopeGeneral Earth and Planetary Sciences

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