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
Stern, Ady. 2010. “Non-Abelian States of Matter.” Nature 464 (7286): 187–193.
A journal article with 2 authors
Fedorka, Kenneth M., and Timothy A. Mousseau. 2004. “Female Mating Bias Results in Conflicting Sex-Specific Offspring Fitness.” Nature 429 (6987): 65–67.
A journal article with 3 authors
Mietto, Paolo, Marco Avanzini, and Giuseppe Rolandi. 2003. “Palaeontology: Human Footprints in Pleistocene Volcanic Ash.” Nature 422 (6928): 133.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Cao, Junyue, Darren A. Cusanovich, Vijay Ramani, Delasa Aghamirzaie, Hannah A. Pliner, Andrew J. Hill, Riza M. Daza, et al. 2018. “Joint Profiling of Chromatin Accessibility and Gene Expression in Thousands of Single Cells.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 361 (6409): 1380–1385.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Venkat, Shyam, and Stephen Baird. 2016. Liquidity Risk Management. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Sabath, Frank, and Eric L. Mokole, eds. 2014. Ultra-Wideband, Short-Pulse Electromagnetics 10. New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Ju, Yang. 2011. “Evaluation of Electrical Properties.” In Metallic Micro and Nano Materials: Fabrication with Atomic Diffusion, edited by Masumi Saka, 143–172. Engineering Materials. Berlin, Heidelberg: 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
Fang, Janet. 2015. “Why Do We Age?” 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. 2004. No Child Left Behind Act: Education Needs to Provide Additional Technical Assistance and Conduct Implementation Studies for School Choice Provision. GAO-05-7. 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
Harris, Arlene E. 2017. “A Quantitative Study of the Impact of CFO and Auditor Turnover on Internal Control Weaknesses.” Doctoral dissertation, Minneapolis, MN: Capella 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
McAULEY, James. 2017. “Breaking the Mold.” New York Times, March 17.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Angerer 2004).
This sentence cites two references (Fiore 2014; Smaglik 2003).

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

  • Two authors: (Fedorka and Mousseau 2004)
  • Three authors: (Mietto, Avanzini, and Rolandi 2003)
  • 4 or more authors: (Saze 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