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
Lubensky, T. C. 2000. “LIQUID CRYSTALS: New Banana Phases.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 288 (5474): 2146–2147.
A journal article with 2 authors
Takano, Yuji, and Masatoshi Ukezono. 2014. “An Experimental Task to Examine the Mirror System in Rats.” Scientific Reports 4 (October): 6652.
A journal article with 3 authors
Pilet, Sébastien, Michael B. Baker, and Edward M. Stolper. 2008. “Metasomatized Lithosphere and the Origin of Alkaline Lavas.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 320 (5878): 916–919.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Tomita, Kozo, Ryuichiro Ishitani, Shuya Fukai, and Osamu Nureki. 2006. “Complete Crystallographic Analysis of the Dynamics of CCA Sequence Addition.” Nature 443 (7114): 956–960.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Center for Chemical Process Safety. 2008. Inherently Safer Chemical Processes. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Slobounov, Semyon, and Wayne Sebastianelli, eds. 2006. Foundations of Sport-Related Brain Injuries. Boston, MA: Springer US.
A chapter in an edited book
Pfaff, Charmaine C., and Helen Hasan. 2007. “Can Knowledge Management Be Open Source?” In Open Source Development, Adoption and Innovation: IFIP Working Group 2.13 on Open Source Software, June 11–14, 2007, Limerick, Ireland, edited by Joseph Feller, Brian Fitzgerald, Walt Scacchi, and Alberto Sillitti, 59–70. IFIP — The International Federation for Information Processing. Boston, MA: Springer US.

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. 2014. “Dog Brains Process Human Speech In The Same Way We Do.” 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. 1998. Executive Guide: Leading Practices in Capital Decision-Making (Supersedes AIMD-98-110). AIMD-99-32. 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
Allyasin, Fariba. 2010. “Low-Cost Frequency-Domain Methods of Ruby Fluorescence Lifetime Measurements.” 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
Crow, Kelly. 2001. “The Best and the Brightest Under Fire.” New York Times, March 18.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Lubensky 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Lubensky 2000; Takano and Ukezono 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Takano and Ukezono 2014)
  • Three authors: (Pilet, Baker, and Stolper 2008)
  • 4 or more authors: (Tomita et al. 2006)

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