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
Sagdeev, Roald. 2007. “History of Science. Sputnik and the Soviets.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 318 (5847): 51–52.
A journal article with 2 authors
Boles, Larry C., and Kenneth J. Lohmann. 2003. “True Navigation and Magnetic Maps in Spiny Lobsters.” Nature 421 (6918): 60–63.
A journal article with 3 authors
Horodecki, Michał, Jonathan Oppenheim, and Andreas Winter. 2005. “Partial Quantum Information.” Nature 436 (7051): 673–676.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Kroodsma, David A., Juan Mayorga, Timothy Hochberg, Nathan A. Miller, Kristina Boerder, Francesco Ferretti, Alex Wilson, et al. 2018. “Response to Comment on ‘Tracking the Global Footprint of Fisheries.’” Science (New York, N.Y.) 361 (6404).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bitton, Gabriel. 2014. Microbiology of Drinking Water. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Everitt, Arthur V., Suresh I. S. Rattan, David G. le Couteur, and Rafael de Cabo, eds. 2010. Calorie Restriction, Aging and Longevity. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Allen, Todd R. 2007. “HIGH DOSE RADIATION EFFECTS IN STEELS.” In Radiation Effects in Solids, edited by Kurt E. Sickafus, Eugene A. Kotomin, and Blas P. Uberuaga, 99–121. NATO Science Series. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

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. 2015. “Watch These Leafcutter Ants Carry Fresh Leaves for Their Fungal Farms.” 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. 2014. The Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Competitive Procurement. GAO-14-377R. 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
Stephens, Tammy. 2012. “The Evolution of Transformative Communication Patterns in 1-to-1 Computing Classrooms.” Doctoral dissertation, Malibu, CA: Pepperdine 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
Chozick, Amy. 2013. “Jimmy Wales Is Not an Internet Billionare.” New York Times, June 27.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Sagdeev 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Sagdeev 2007; Boles and Lohmann 2003).

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

  • Two authors: (Boles and Lohmann 2003)
  • Three authors: (Horodecki, Oppenheim, and Winter 2005)
  • 4 or more authors: (Kroodsma et al. 2018)

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