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
Sardar, Ziauddin. 2007. “Beyond the Troubled Relationship.” Nature 448(7150): 131–33.
A journal article with 2 authors
Lee, Anna Jisu, and Lingchong You. 2014. “Cell Biology. Cells Listen to Their Inner Voice.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 343(6171): 624–25.
A journal article with 3 authors
Whitmire, Elizabeth, Bettina Khan, and Martine Coué. 2002. “Cdc6 Synthesis Regulates Replication Competence in Xenopus Oocytes.” Nature 419(6908): 722–25.
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Tomasello, Mario V. et al. 2014. “The Role of Endogenous and Exogenous Mechanisms in the Formation of R&D Networks.” Scientific reports 4: 5679.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Sarisky, Darren. 2012. Scriptural Interpretation. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Qian, Zhihong et al., eds. 2012. 127 Recent Advances in Computer Science and Information Engineering: Volume 4. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Bijak, Jakub, and Marek Kupiszewski. 2013. “International Migration Trends in Europe Prior to 2002.” In International Migration and the Future of Populations and Labour in Europe, The Springer Series on Demographic Methods and Population Analysis, ed. Marek Kupiszewski. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, 57–74.

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. 2016. “What Mongol History Predicts For The New Season Of Game of Thrones.” 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. 1991. Aircraft Maintenance: Additional FAA Oversight Needed of Aging Aircraft Repairs (Vol. I). 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
Stoecker, Kurt. 2013. “Transfer of Topic-Prominence in Chinese-English Interlanguage.” Doctoral dissertation. Southern Illinois 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
Markoff, John. 2016. “A Would-Be Father of A.I.” 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 (Sardar 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Lee and You 2014; Sardar 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Lee and You 2014)
  • Three authors: (Whitmire, Khan, and Coué 2002)
  • 4 or more authors: (Tomasello et al. 2014)

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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