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
Wetherbee, Richard. 2002. “Biomineralization. The Diatom Glasshouse.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 298(5593): 547.
A journal article with 2 authors
Burt, Dave, and Olivier Pourquie. 2003. “Genetics. Chicken Genome--Science Nuggets to Come Soon.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 300(5626): 1669.
A journal article with 3 authors
Sillanpää, Mika A., Jae I. Park, and Raymond W. Simmonds. 2007. “Coherent Quantum State Storage and Transfer between Two Phase Qubits via a Resonant Cavity.” Nature 449(7161): 438–42.
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Qiao, J. W. et al. 2013. “A Tensile Deformation Model for In-Situ Dendrite/Metallic Glass Matrix Composites.” Scientific reports 3: 2816.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ushakov, Igor. 2012. Probabilistic Reliability Models. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Busch, Oliver, ed. 2016. Programmatic Advertising: The Successful Transformation to Automated, Data-Driven Marketing in Real-Time. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Müller, Cristina, and Roger Schibli. 2011. “Folate Receptor-Targeted Radionuclide Imaging Agents.” In Targeted Drug Strategies for Cancer and Inflammation, eds. Ann L. Jackman and Christopher P. Leamon. Boston, MA: Springer US, 65–92.

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. 2015. “Our Ideas Of How Blood Forms Have Just Been Turned On Their Head.” 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. 2015. State Health Insurance Marketplaces: CMS Should Improve Oversight of State Information Technology Projects. 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
Jordan, Alicia Dobard. 2008. “Measuring the Efficacy of a Ninth Grade Academy on Students with Disabilities.” 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
Hodara, Susan. 2013. “Seeing and Being Seen, Across Millenniums.” New York Times: WE10.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Wetherbee 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Burt and Pourquie 2003; Wetherbee 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Burt and Pourquie 2003)
  • Three authors: (Sillanpää, Park, and Simmonds 2007)
  • 4 or more authors: (Qiao et al. 2013)

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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