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
Hughes, Virginia. 2012. “Microbiome: Cultural Differences.” Nature 492(7427): S14-5.
A journal article with 2 authors
Tewksbury, J. J., and G. P. Nabhan. 2001. “Seed Dispersal. Directed Deterrence by Capsaicin in Chilies.” Nature 412(6845): 403–4.
A journal article with 3 authors
Sims, D. W., P. L. Andrews, and J. Z. Young. 2000. “Stomach Rinsing in Rays.” Nature 404(6778): 566.
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Lawniczak, M. K. N. et al. 2010. “Widespread Divergence between Incipient Anopheles Gambiae Species Revealed by Whole Genome Sequences.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 330(6003): 512–14.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hackshaw, Allan. 2014. A Concise Guide to Observational Studies in Healthcare. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Bellur, Venkatakrishna V., ed. 2015. The 1980’s: A Decade of Marketing Challenges: Proceedings of the 1981 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Annual Conference. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Young, Richard A. et al. 2011. “Studying Transition Processes.” In Transition to Adulthood: Action, Projects, and Counseling, eds. Sheila K. Marshall et al. New York, NY: Springer, 37–49.

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, Danielle. 2016. “49 Health ‘Facts’ You’ve Been Told All Your Life That Are Totally Wrong.” 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. 2009. Telecommunications: Broadband Deployment Plan Should Include Performance Goals and Measures to Guide Federal Investment. 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
Clavio, Galen. 2008. “Uses and Gratifications of Internet Collegiate Sport Message Board Users.” Doctoral dissertation. Indiana 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
Greenhouse, Linda. 2008. “Justices to Weigh Search and Consent.” New York Times: A17.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Hughes 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Hughes 2012; Tewksbury and Nabhan 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Tewksbury and Nabhan 2001)
  • Three authors: (Sims, Andrews, and Young 2000)
  • 4 or more authors: (Lawniczak et al. 2010)

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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