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
Sridhar, Devi. 2012. “Health Policy: Regulate Alcohol for Global Health.” Nature 482(7385): 302.
A journal article with 2 authors
Levnajić, Zoran, and Arkady Pikovsky. 2014. “Untangling Complex Dynamical Systems via Derivative-Variable Correlations.” Scientific reports 4: 5030.
A journal article with 3 authors
Russell, David G., Clifton E. Barry 3rd, and Joanne L. Flynn. 2010. “Tuberculosis: What We Don’t Know Can, and Does, Hurt Us.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 328(5980): 852–56.
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Lee, Siu Sylvia, Scott Kennedy, Andrew C. Tolonen, and Gary Ruvkun. 2003. “DAF-16 Target Genes That Control C. Elegans Life-Span and Metabolism.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 300(5619): 644–47.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Weinberg, Mea A., and Stuart J. Froum. 2012. The Dentist’s Drug and Prescription Guide. West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.,.
An edited book
Macchi, Silvia, and Maurizio Tiepolo, eds. 2014. Climate Change Vulnerability in Southern African Cities: Building Knowledge for Adaptation. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Tari, Zahir, Ann Khoi Anh Phan, Malith Jayasinghe, and Vidura Gamini Abhaya. 2011. “Network Traffic Optimisation.” In On the Performance of Web Services, eds. Ann Khoi Anh Phan, Malith Jayasinghe, and Vidura Gamini Abhaya. Boston, MA: Springer US, 105–38.

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
Fang, Janet. 2015. “Swedish Lizard Babies Survive Better With Warmer Temperatures.” 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. 2000. Gender Equity: Men’s and Women’s Participation in Higher Education. 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
Olch, Rebecca. 2010. “Low Cost/No Cost Quality of Life Programs in Non-Profit Theatre.” Doctoral dissertation. 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
Pilon, Mary. 2012. “Inspiring Horse Honored.” New York Times: D4.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Sridhar 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Levnajić and Pikovsky 2014; Sridhar 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Levnajić and Pikovsky 2014)
  • Three authors: (Russell, Barry, and Flynn 2010)
  • 4 or more authors: (Lee et al. 2003)

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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