How to format your references using the American Political Science Review citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for American Political Science Review. 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
de Vries, Sacco. 2015. “Plant Science: Precision Positioning with Peptides.” Nature 522(7557): 424–25.
A journal article with 2 authors
Razzell, William, and Paul Martin. 2012. “Cell Biology. Embryonic Clutch Control.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 335(6073): 1181–82.
A journal article with 3 authors
Eagleman, David M., John E. Jacobson, and Terrence J. Sejnowski. 2004. “Perceived Luminance Depends on Temporal Context.” Nature 428(6985): 854–56.
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Rambukkana, Anura, George Zanazzi, Nikos Tapinos, and James L. Salzer. 2002. “Contact-Dependent Demyelination by Mycobacterium Leprae in the Absence of Immune Cells.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 296(5569): 927–31.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Adhikari, Sadhan K. 2005. Variational Principles and the Numerical Solution of Scattering Problems. Weinheim, FRG: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Gaspar-Cunha, António, Carlos Henggeler Antunes, and Carlos Coello Coello, eds. 2015. 9018 Evolutionary Multi-Criterion Optimization: 8th International Conference, EMO 2015, Guimarães, Portugal, March 29 --April 1, 2015. Proceedings, Part I. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Guo, Yan, Li Ma, Fei Zhu, and Fujiang Liu. 2016. “Selecting Training Samples from Large-Scale Remote-Sensing Samples Using an Active Learning Algorithm.” In Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Systems: 7th International Symposium, ISICA 2015, Guangzhou, China, November 21-22, 2015, Revised Selected Papers, Communications in Computer and Information Science, eds. Kangshun Li, Jin Li, Yong Liu, and Aniello Castiglione. Singapore: Springer, 40–51.

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 Political Science Review.

Blog post
Davis, Josh. 2016. “From Ziggy Stardust Snakes To Klingon Newts: Over 160 New Species Discovered In The Greater Mekong.” IFLScience. (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. 2005. Information Technology: OMB Can More Effectively Use Its Investment Reviews. 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
Oliva, Daniela Andrea. 2012. “Technological Mediation: The Implications of Technology on the Human Experience.” Doctoral dissertation. California State University, Long Beach.

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
Hanc, John. 2017. “Ideas and Goals, Yes. Walls, No.” New York Times: F42.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (de Vries 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Razzell and Martin 2012; de Vries 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Razzell and Martin 2012)
  • Three authors: (Eagleman, Jacobson, and Sejnowski 2004)
  • 4 or more authors: (Rambukkana et al. 2002)

About the journal

Full journal titleAmerican Political Science Review
AbbreviationAm. Polit. Sci. Rev.
ISSN (print)0003-0554
ISSN (online)1537-5943
ScopeSociology and Political Science
Political Science and International Relations

Other styles