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
Blow, Nathan. 2009. “Glycobiology: A Spoonful of Sugar.” Nature 457(7229): 617–20.
A journal article with 2 authors
Wood, William B., and James M. Gentile. 2003. “Education. Teaching in a Research Context.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 302(5650): 1510.
A journal article with 3 authors
Moritz, Richard E., Cecilia M. Bitz, and Eric J. Steig. 2002. “Dynamics of Recent Climate Change in the Arctic.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 297(5586): 1497–1502.
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Spicer, Robert A. et al. 2003. “Constant Elevation of Southern Tibet over the Past 15 Million Years.” Nature 421(6923): 622–24.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Selyanin, Mikhail A., Petr Ya Boykov, Vladimir N. Khabarov, and Felix Polyak. 2015. Hyaluronic Acid. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Usunoff, Kamen G. 2006. 184 Functional Neuroanatomy of Pain. eds. Anastas Popratiloff, Oliver Schmitt, and Andreas Wree. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Ferrari, Simone, and Valentina Zanotto. 2016. “Defining Representative Building Energy Models.” In Building Energy Performance Assessment in Southern Europe, SpringerBriefs in Applied Sciences and Technology, ed. Valentina Zanotto. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 61–77.

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
Andrew, Elise. 2014. “Success Story In Hepatitis C Combination Therapy.” 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. 1988. Aviation Security: Corrective Actions Underway, but Better Inspection Guidance Still Needed. 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
Hensley, Alan L. 2009. “Gender, Personality, and Coping: Unraveling Gender in Military Post -Deployment Physical and Mental Wellness.” Doctoral dissertation. Capella 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
Ervin, Andrew. 2017. “Tales of the Unhinged.” New York Times: BR18.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Blow 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Blow 2009; Wood and Gentile 2003).

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

  • Two authors: (Wood and Gentile 2003)
  • Three authors: (Moritz, Bitz, and Steig 2002)
  • 4 or more authors: (Spicer et al. 2003)

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

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