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
Prantzos, Nikos. 2016. “Cosmology: Rare Isotopic Insight into the Universe.” Nature 529(7584): 33–34.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ding, Hong-Ming, and Yu-Qiang Ma. 2013. “Controlling Cellular Uptake of Nanoparticles with PH-Sensitive Polymers.” Scientific reports 3: 2804.
A journal article with 3 authors
Tsori, Yoav, François Tournilhac, and Ludwik Leibler. 2004. “Demixing in Simple Fluids Induced by Electric Field Gradients.” Nature 430(6999): 544–47.
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Merz, Jon F., Antigone G. Kriss, Debra G. B. Leonard, and Mildred K. Cho. 2002. “Diagnostic Testing Fails the Test.” Nature 415(6872): 577–79.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Geng, Hwaiyu. 2014. Data Center Handbook. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Sorooshian, Soroosh et al., eds. 2008. 63 Hydrological Modelling and the Water Cycle: Coupling the Atmospheric and Hydrological Models. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Hofmann, Erik, Patrick Beck, and Erik Füger. 2013. “CM3: Supplier Segmentation and Supply Strategy.” In The Supply Chain Differentiation Guide: A Roadmap to Operational Excellence, eds. Patrick Beck and Erik Füger. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 107–23.

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. “Vanity And Predatory Academic Publishers Are Corrupting The Pursuit Of Knowledge.” 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. 2010. Telecommunications: Information Collection and Management at the Federal Communications Commission. 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
Buchigari, Suwarna Radhika. 2010. “A Tool to Automate the Process of Unit Testing of Webapplications (Criterion V1.0).” 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
Stewart, James B. 2016. “Fossil Fuel Stocks Divide a Village.” New York Times: B1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Prantzos 2016).
This sentence cites two references (Ding and Ma 2013; Prantzos 2016).

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

  • Two authors: (Ding and Ma 2013)
  • Three authors: (Tsori, Tournilhac, and Leibler 2004)
  • 4 or more authors: (Merz 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

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