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
Lynden-Bell, Donald. 2010. “Retrospective. Allan Sandage (1926-2010).” Science (New York, N.Y.) 330 (6012): 1763.
A journal article with 2 authors
Celi, Alessio, and Leticia Tarruell. 2015. “PHYSICS. Probing the Edge with Cold Atoms.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 349 (6255): 1450–1451.
A journal article with 3 authors
Chaudhuri, Jayanta, Chan Khuong, and Frederick W. Alt. 2004. “Replication Protein A Interacts with AID to Promote Deamination of Somatic Hypermutation Targets.” Nature 430 (7003): 992–998.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Wild, Christian, Markus Huettel, Anke Klueter, Stephan G. Kremb, Mohammed Y. M. Rasheed, and Bo B. Jørgensen. 2004. “Coral Mucus Functions as an Energy Carrier and Particle Trap in the Reef Ecosystem.” Nature 428 (6978): 66–70.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hong, Guanglei. 2015. Causality in a Social World. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Hüschelrath, Kai, and Heike Schweitzer, eds. 2014. Public and Private Enforcement of Competition Law in Europe: Legal and Economic Perspectives. Vol. 48. ZEW Economic Studies. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Sarkar, Indra Neil. 2015. “Mining the Bibliome.” In Translational Informatics: Realizing the Promise of Knowledge-Driven Healthcare, edited by Philip R. O. Payne and Peter J. Embi, 75–96. Health Informatics. London: 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 Journal of Contemporary African Studies.

Blog post
O`Callaghan, Jonathan. 2017. “This Guy Hired A Helicopter To Snap The First Image Of A Secret New SpaceX Machine.” 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. 1992. Lost in Space? 146027. 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
Castro Deller, Emilce. 2013. “Recognizing Signs of Dementia: A Curriculum for Child Welfare Workers.” Doctoral dissertation, Long Beach, CA: 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
Clarey, Christopher. 2017. “At 74, a Champion Who Won’t Concede.” New York Times, January 30.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Lynden-Bell 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Lynden-Bell 2010; Celi and Tarruell 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Celi and Tarruell 2015)
  • Three authors: (Chaudhuri, Khuong, and Alt 2004)
  • 4 or more authors: (Wild 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