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
Knight, Jonathan. 2003. “NASA Seeks Inspiration from Microscopic Views of Life.” Nature 421(6926): 878.
A journal article with 2 authors
Fan, Zhi-Qiang, and Ke-Qiu Chen. 2014. “Stable Two-Dimensional Conductance Switch of Polyaniline Molecule Connecting to Graphene Nanoribbons.” Scientific reports 4: 5976.
A journal article with 3 authors
Baluska, Frantisek, Dieter Volkmann, and Peter W. Barlow. 2004. “Cell Bodies in a Cage.” Nature 428(6981): 371.
A journal article with 5 or more authors
Levy, S., E. Lahoud, I. Shomroni, and J. Steinhauer. 2007. “The a.c. and d.c. Josephson Effects in a Bose-Einstein Condensate.” Nature 449(7162): 579–83.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Fredriksson, Hasse, and Ulla Åkerlind. 2012. Solidification and Crystallization Processing in Metals and Alloys. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Kamerman, Sheila B., Shelley Phipps, and Asher Ben-Arieh, eds. 2010. 1 From Child Welfare to Child Well-Being: An International Perspective on Knowledge in the Service of Policy Making. 1st ed. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Obermaisser, R. 2008. “Formal Specification of Gateways in Integrated Architectures.” In Software Technologies for Embedded and Ubiquitous Systems: 6th IFIP WG 10.2 International Workshop, SEUS 2008, Anacarpi, Capri Island, Italy, October 1-3, 2008 Proceedings, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, eds. Uwe Brinkschulte, Tony Givargis, and Stefano Russo. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 34–45.

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
Andrew, Elise. 2015. “Could Hurricane Patricia Be A Harbinger Of Storms In A Warming Climate?” 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. 1993. School-Linked Human Services: A Comprehensive Strategy for Aiding Students at Risk of School Failure. 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
Lieberman, Daina S. 2017. “‘Stroke Your Thoroughbreds and Kick Your Donkeys’: Power and the Secondary Administrative Distribution of Teaching Assignments.” Doctoral dissertation. George Washington 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
Leland, John. 2017. “Living the Bike Life.” New York Times: MB7.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Knight 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Fan and Chen 2014; Knight 2003).

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

  • Two authors: (Fan and Chen 2014)
  • Three authors: (Baluska, Volkmann, and Barlow 2004)
  • 4 or more authors: (Levy et al. 2007)

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

Other styles