How to format your references using the Journal of Contemporary African Studies citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Journal of Contemporary 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.
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
Müller, Ulrike K. 2003. “Physiology. Fish ’n Flag.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 302 (5650): 1511–1512.
A journal article with 2 authors
Zhu, Min, and Per E. Ahlberg. 2004. “The Origin of the Internal Nostril of Tetrapods.” Nature 432 (7013): 94–97.
A journal article with 3 authors
Hollingsworth, Robert G., John W. Armstrong, and Earl Campbell. 2002. “Caffeine as a Repellent for Slugs and Snails.” Nature 417 (6892): 915–916.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Patanè, Domenico, Pasquale De Gori, Claudio Chiarabba, and Alessandro Bonaccorso. 2003. “Magma Ascent and the Pressurization of Mount Etna’s Volcanic System.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 299 (5615): 2061–2063.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Wolbarst, Anthony B., Patrizio Capasso, and Andrew R. Wyant. 2013. Medical Imaging. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Arts, Bas, Arnoud Lagendijk, and Henk van Houtum, eds. 2009. The Disoriented State: Shifts in Governmentality, Territoriality and Governance. Vol. 49. Environment & Policy. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Barkeshli, Kasra, and Sina Khorasani. 2015. “Radar.” In Advanced Electromagnetics and Scattering Theory, edited by Sina Khorasani, 213–229. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

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 Journal of Contemporary African Studies.

Blog post
Fang, Janet. 2015. “Infected Chimps May Carry Genes That Lessen the Impact of an HIV-Like Virus.” 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. 1991. New Denver Airport: Safety, Construction, Capacity, and Financing Considerations. RCED-91-240. 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
Horta, Gabrielle. 2013. “The Potential of the Eurozone Crisis to Mobilize Extreme Right Support in Spain, Portugal, and Italy.” Doctoral dissertation, Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina.

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
Rossellini, Isabella. 1996. “The Sphinx: Greta Garbo.” New York Times, November 24.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Müller 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Müller 2003; Zhu and Ahlberg 2004).

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

  • Two authors: (Zhu and Ahlberg 2004)
  • Three authors: (Hollingsworth, Armstrong, and Campbell 2002)
  • 4 or more authors: (Patanè et al. 2003)

About the journal

Full journal titleJournal of Contemporary African Studies
AbbreviationJ. Contemp. Afr. Stud.
ISSN (print)0258-9001
ISSN (online)1469-9397
Geography, Planning and Development
Political Science and International Relations

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