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
Hughson, Frederick M. 2013. “Neuroscience. Chaperones That SNARE Neurotransmitter Release.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 339 (6118): 406–407.
A journal article with 2 authors
Strausberg, Robert L., and Stuart L. Schreiber. 2003. “From Knowing to Controlling: A Path from Genomics to Drugs Using Small Molecule Probes.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 300 (5617): 294–295.
A journal article with 3 authors
Hu, Fanghao, Wenbin Luo, and Mei Hong. 2010. “Mechanisms of Proton Conduction and Gating in Influenza M2 Proton Channels from Solid-State NMR.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 330 (6003): 505–508.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Hiller, Sebastian, Robert G. Garces, Thomas J. Malia, Vladislav Y. Orekhov, Marco Colombini, and Gerhard Wagner. 2008. “Solution Structure of the Integral Human Membrane Protein VDAC-1 in Detergent Micelles.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 321 (5893): 1206–1210.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
El-Haik, Basem, and David M. Roy. 2005. Service Design for Six Sigma. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Jensen, Finn B. 2011. Computational Ocean Acoustics. Edited by William A. Kuperman, Michael B. Porter, and Henrik Schmidt. 2nd ed. Modern Acoustics and Signal Processing. New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Gosztonyi, Katalin. 2016. “Mathematical Culture and Mathematics Education in Hungary in the XXth Century.” In Mathematical Cultures: The London Meetings 2012-2014, edited by Brendan Larvor, 71–89. Trends in the History of Science. 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. 2015. “With So Much Vested In Satellites, Solar Storms Could Bring Life To A Standstill.” 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. 1987. Telephone Communications: Cost and Funding Information on Lifeline Telephone Service. RCED-87-189. 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
Barnard, Sarah. 2015. “Police Officers’ Attitudes about Rape Victims.” 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
Kolomatsky, Michael. 2017. “Top Degrees for Homeownership.” New York Times, June 2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Hughson 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Hughson 2013; Strausberg and Schreiber 2003).

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

  • Two authors: (Strausberg and Schreiber 2003)
  • Three authors: (Hu, Luo, and Hong 2010)
  • 4 or more authors: (Hiller et al. 2008)

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