How to format your references using the Critical African Studies citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Critical African Studies. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Ray, L. Bryan. 2008. “Cell Signaling. Getting Your Loops Straight. Introduction.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 322 (5900): 389.
A journal article with 2 authors
Stern, Ady, and Netanel H. Lindner. 2013. “Topological Quantum Computation--from Basic Concepts to First Experiments.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 339 (6124): 1179–1184.
A journal article with 3 authors
Law, Rachel M., Richard J. Matear, and Roger J. Francey. 2008. “Comment on ‘Saturation of the Southern Ocean CO2 Sink Due to Recent Climate Change.’” Science (New York, N.Y.) 319 (5863): 570; author reply 570.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Yu, Yongmei, Xian H. Zhang, Blake Ebersole, David Ribnicky, and Zhong Q. Wang. 2013. “Bitter Melon Extract Attenuating Hepatic Steatosis May Be Mediated by FGF21 and AMPK/Sirt1 Signaling in Mice.” Scientific Reports 3 (November): 3142.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Placzek, Dietmar, Rolf Bielecki, Manfred Messing, and Frank Schwarzer Tunnel. 2016. Zielgenau Bis Ans Ende Des Tunnels. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Yamamoto, Sakae, ed. 2013. Human Interface and the Management of Information. Information and Interaction for Health, Safety, Mobility and Complex Environments: 15th International Conference, HCI International 2013, Las Vegas, NV, USA, July 21-26, 2013, Proceedings, Part II. Vol. 8017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Ripp, Sharon L. 2008. “Induction of Drug-Metabolizing Enzymes: Contrasting Roles in Detoxification and Bioactivation of Drugs and Xenobiotics.” In Advances in Bioactivation Research, edited by Adnan Elfarra, 1–34. New York, NY: Springer.

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 Critical African Studies.

Blog post
Andrew, Elise. 2015. “Contractor Digs Up 14,000-Year-Old Mastodon Skeleton In Neighbor’s Backyard.” IFLScience. IFLScience.


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. 2003. Aviation Security: Federal Air Marshal Service Is Addressing Challenges of Its Expanded Mission and Workforce, but Additional Actions Needed. GAO-04-242. 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
Tercero, Napoleon. 2010. “Characterization and Application of Morpholino Monolayers in Nucleic Acid Diagnostics.” Doctoral dissertation, New York, NY: Columbia 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
Mueller, Benjamin, Ashley Southall, and A. L. Baker. 2016. “Social Circles Collide on the Dance Floor. Then, a Deadly Brawl.” New York Times, August 4.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Ray 2008).
This sentence cites two references (Ray 2008; Stern and Lindner 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Stern and Lindner 2013)
  • Three authors: (Law, Matear, and Francey 2008)
  • 4 or more authors: (Yu et al. 2013)

About the journal

Full journal titleCritical African Studies
AbbreviationCrit. Afr. Stud.
ISSN (print)2168-1392
ISSN (online)2040-7211
ScopeGeneral Arts and Humanities
General Social Sciences

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