How to format your references using the PS: Political Science & Politics citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for PS: Political Science & Politics. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Mardis, Elaine R. 2011. “A Decade’s Perspective on DNA Sequencing Technology.” Nature 470(7333): 198–203.
A journal article with 2 authors
Marteau, Theresa M., and Eleni Mantzari. 2015. “Public Health: The Case for Pay to Quit.” Nature 523(7558): 40–41.
A journal article with 3 authors
Wang, Bin, Shibin Xu, and Liguang Wu. 2012. “Intensified Arabian Sea Tropical Storms.” Nature 489(7416): E1-2; discussion E2-3.
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Zeng, Xiangbing et al. 2011. “Complex Multicolor Tilings and Critical Phenomena in Tetraphilic Liquid Crystals.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 331(6022): 1302–6.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Leroy, Laure. 2016. Eyestrain Reduction in Stereoscopy. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Festa, Paola, ed. 2010. 6049 Experimental Algorithms: 9th International Symposium, SEA 2010, Ischia Island, Naples, Italy, May 20-22, 2010. Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Treadway, Michael T., and Sara W. Lazar. 2009. “The Neurobiology of Mindfulness.” In Clinical Handbook of Mindfulness, ed. Fabrizio Didonna. New York, NY: Springer, 45–57.

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 PS: Political Science & Politics.

Blog post
Davis, Josh. 2015. “Hydroelectric Dams Drastically Reduce Biodiversity.” IFLScience. (October 30, 2018).


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. Diploma Mills: Federal Employees Have Obtained Degrees from Diploma Mills and Other Unaccredited Schools, Some at Government Expense. 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
Forlano, Laura. 2008. “When Code Meets Place: Collaboration and Innovation at WiFi Hotspots.” Doctoral dissertation. Columbia 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
Hodara, Susan. 2015. “Canvases So Big They Are Seldom Seen.” New York Times: WE9.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Mardis 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Mardis 2011; Marteau and Mantzari 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Marteau and Mantzari 2015)
  • Three authors: (Wang, Xu, and Wu 2012)
  • 4 or more authors: (Zeng et al. 2011)

About the journal

Full journal titlePS: Political Science & Politics
AbbreviationPS Polit. Sci. Polit.
ISSN (print)1049-0965
ISSN (online)1537-5935
ScopeSociology and Political Science

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