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
Venkatraman, Vijaysree. 2015. “Working Life. The Space Roboticist.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 349 (6245): 338.
A journal article with 2 authors
Dresselhaus, M. S., and I. L. Thomas. 2001. “Alternative Energy Technologies.” Nature 414 (6861): 332–337.
A journal article with 3 authors
Roberts, Leslie, Richard Stone, and Andrew Sugden. 2009. “The Rise of Restoration Ecology.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 325 (5940): 555.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Donley, Jeanine M., Chugey A. Sepulveda, Peter Konstantinidis, Sven Gemballa, and Robert E. Shadwick. 2004. “Convergent Evolution in Mechanical Design of Lamnid Sharks and Tunas.” Nature 429 (6987): 61–65.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Daries, Hayley. 2012. Nutrition for Sport and Exercise. West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.,.
An edited book
Crane, Dave. 2009. Comet and Reverse Ajax: The Next-Generation Ajax 2.0. Edited by Phil McCarthy. Berkeley, CA: Apress.
A chapter in an edited book
Hedberg, Craig. 2016. “Epidemiology of Viral Foodborne Outbreaks: Role of Food Handlers, Irrigation Water, and Surfaces.” In Viruses in Foods, edited by Sagar M. Goyal and Jennifer L. Cannon, 147–163. 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
Andrew, Elise. 2013. “Could Basic Life Exist on Titan?” 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. 1979. GAO’s Need for an Interim Management Data System (MDS). B-161744. 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
Kim, Misun. 2010. “Adult ESL Korean Readers’ Responses about Their Reading in L1 Korean and L2 English.” Doctoral dissertation, Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona.

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
Pilon, Mary. 2014. “A Ban on Coed Contact Sports.” New York Times, October 1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Venkatraman 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Venkatraman 2015; Dresselhaus and Thomas 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Dresselhaus and Thomas 2001)
  • Three authors: (Roberts, Stone, and Sugden 2009)
  • 4 or more authors: (Donley et al. 2004)

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

Other styles