APSA How to cite and reference sources

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  1. Citations
    Brief notes on sources appear in the text as citations, providingimmediate source information without interrupting the flow ofargument. A citation usually requires only the last name of theauthor(s), year of publication (n.d. if it is forthcoming), and (sometimes)page or chapter numbers. The page or chapter numbers must appearunless the reference is to the entire work as a whole. All works citedmust appear in the reference list at the end of the article, includingthose in notes to tables and figures.
  2. Citations
    The simple author-date citation is an abbreviated way of referring tothe work itself. Think of it as a short title. No comma separates the twoelements:

    “The transmogrifying of mayoral power” (Bailey 1987)

    For a lucid assessment, see Ripley 1988.

    In the second example, a type that should be restricted to the notes,the “short title” is grammatically part of the sentence and hence not setoff by parentheses.

    If the sentence were about the author, rather than,as here, about the work (we are not directed to see Ripley himself ), the date alone would be set off by parentheses to indicate the work:

    Trish (1988) sharply disagrees.
  3. Chronology
    Indicate a sequence of authors whose works form a progression of ideas through time in the text, rather than using a parenthetical citation. Parenthetical author-date citations remain a short means of reference, rather than a way of listing works in time, and should be given in alphabetical order, e.g. Hare 1965, Singer 1963 rather than the reverse.
  4. Multiple Authors and Works
    With two or three authors, cite all names each time (CMS 16.117):

    (Kelly, Colter, and Lane 1980)

    With four or more authors, et al. (in roman type) should follow the firstauthor’s name, even in the first reference (CMS 16.118):

    (Angel et al. 1986)

    When more than one study is cited, arrange the references inalphabetical order and separate them with semicolons or semicolonsand commas, as necessary:

    • (Confucius 1951; Gurdjieff 1950; Wanisaburo 1926)
    • (Confucius 1951; see also Gurdjieff 1950, Wanisaburo 1926, andZeller 1914)

    If two or more authors have the same last name, a first initial should beused to distinguish between them:

    (B. Ripley 1988; R. Ripley 1964)
  5. Multiple Authors and Works
    Use a semicolon to separate two works by the same author (16.119,2nd example):

    (Barbarosa 1973; 1978)

    If works by the same author are also published in the same year, addlowercase letters to the dates of publication and repeat these in thereference section (CMS 16.116):

    (Frankly 1957a; 1957b)

    Pages, chapters, and so forth follow the date, preceded by a comma; p. and pp. are omitted (CMS 16.109):

    Beaute (1975, 121–25)(Rex et al. 1985, chaps. 6, 7)
  6. Older Works
    For reprints, both original and reprint dates should be given (CMS 17.127, 2nd text citation example):

    (Marx and Engels [1933] 1964, 25)

    Classics may be cited in either of two ways. The first is to use theauthor-date system, providing original date, publication date of theparticular edition being used, and page numbers. The second can beused when standard subdivisions of the work have been establishedand are used in the same way for all editions. This method commonlyincludes the author’s name, title of the work, and a series of numbersrepresenting decreasing subdivisions of the work:

    (Thucydides, Peloponnesian War 2.40.2-3)
  7. Older Works
    In this case, the numbers refer to book, section, and sentence. In othercases they may refer to volume, chapter, and paragraph. Citations tochapters and verses of the Bible or to numbers of The Federalist Papers are of the same type. Because the subdivisions are the same for alleditions, no editions need be specified and the reference entry may beomitted. However, if the work exists in different translations, specify the particular edition being used and insert the year in brackets followingthe number series.

    (Thucydides, Peloponnesian War 2.40.2-3 [1963])
  8. Government Documents
    Government documents may be cited in the normal author-date form.However, many have corporate authors whose names are too longto write out each time in the text. In this case, include a short form oracronym in parentheses (or in brackets in parentheses) immediatelyafter the first reference and use the acronym thereafter. For example,a first reference might be U.S. International Trade Commission (1978, 12;hereafter USITC) and the second, USITC (1978, 16).

    • Legal Citations
    • An in-text citation to a statute or court case shouldinclude the name of the case (in italics except for v.) or statute and theyear:

    (Baker v. Carr 1962)

    (Budget and Impoundment Act 1987)
  9. Data Archived and Available at the Inter-universityConsortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
    Citations should be modeled on the official citation provided by theICPSR using the date of ICPSR distribution as the publication date.

    For example, at the ICPSR web site the following information is givenfor a data set:

    STUDYNO = 6805;

    CITATION=Eldersveld, Samuel J., John E. Jackson, M. KentJennings, Kenneth Lieberthal, Melanie Manion, MichaelOksenberg, Zhefu Chen, Hefeng He, Mingming Shen, QingkuiXie, Ming Yang, and Fengchun Yang. FOUR-COUNTY STUDYOF CHINESE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL ECONOMY,1990 [Computer file]. ICPSR version. Ann Arbor, MI: Universityof Michigan/Beijing, China: Beijing University [producers], 1994.Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political andSocial Research [distributor], 1996.

    For an in-text citation to this study, use (Eldersveld et al. 1996) orEldersveld et al. (1996), depending on whether the author name is partof the sense of the sentence.
  10. Electronic Sources
    In-text citations of Internet sites should be formatted to be as similarto normal articles or books references as possible. Citations should include the names of the author(s) and the year of publication, ifavailable.

    (Bruckman 1994)

    (King, Tomz, and Wittenberg 1998)
  11. References
    Citations direct attention to the more detailed references, whichprovide complete source information. Include no reference that is notactually cited. Be careful to refer to the most recent edition of eachwork used.

    The examples that follow show proper forms for common kinds ofreferences. List all references alphabetically by author (CMS 16.93).Give the full first name instead of an initial, unless the author is widelyknown by initials. Double-space all lines and indent all lines afterthe first in each entry. When citing several works by the same author,place them in chronological order, with the earliest publication first,but replacing the names of the successive author(s) with a 3-emdash. Repeat the name of the same author only if paired with a newauthor(s) (CMS 16.103).

    If print forms and electronic forms of the material are the same, areference for the print form is preferred, because electronic versionsmay not be available in all libraries or to all researchers. If electronicand print versions are not the same, and the research was based on theelectronic form, the format should be as similar to that of an article orbook as possible, with the addition of the full retrieval path (URL, FTP,etc.) and the date of last access. Examples are included below.
  12. Books
    One Author.

    Kessel, John H. 1968. The Goldwater Coalition: RepublicanStrategies in 1964. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill.

    The author’s name and date—the bits of information in the citation—appear first, followed by the book title, place of publication, andpublisher (CMS 17.26). If the city is well known, there is no need toidentify the state (or D.C.) (CMS 17.100). Use postal acronyms for states(MA, OH). Chapter and page numbers should be in the citations, not the references.

    Two Authors. (CMS 17.27)

    Sorauf, Frank J., and Paul Allen Beck. 1988. Party Politics in America. 6th ed. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman.

    The surname comes first for the initial author only, and a comma,followed by and, separates the names.

  13. Books
    Edited Collection

    Ball, Terence, James Farr, and Russell L. Hanson, eds. 1988.Political Innovation and Conceptual Change. New York:Cambridge University Press.

    Chapter in Multiauthor Collection

    Hermann, Margaret G. 1984. “Personality and ForeignPolicy Decision Making: A Study of Fifty-Three Headsof Government.” In Foreign Policy Decision Making, eds.Donald A. Sylvan and Steve Chan. New York: Praeger,133–152.

    The chapter title takes headline capitalization and quotation marks.Page numbers for the chapter cited are not necessary. If the author andthe editor are the same person, repeat the name.

    Crotty, William J. 1968. “The Party Organization and ItsActivists.” In Approaches to the Study of PartyOrganization, ed. William J. Crotty. Boston: Allyn &Bacon, 203–221.

    Do not use a form analogous to this one for a chapter in a singleauthorbook. Rather, indicate the whole book and specify the chapterin the citation.

    Multivolume Work

    Foucault, Michel. 1980. The History of Sexuality. 2 vols.Trans. Robert Hurley. New York: Vintage Books.

    Foucault, Michel. 1980. The Use of Pleasure. Vol. 2 of The Historyof Sexuality. Trans. Robert Hurley. New York: Vintage Books.

    If a cited work consists of more than one volume, give the number ofvolumes after the title. If the cited work is just one volume in a set, give its volume number after the title, followed by the more general title.

    Publisher’s Names. The and Inc. may be omitted from publishernames, as may Press (except for University Press), Publisher, and Company (CMS 17.104).
  14. Journal Articles
    Reference format for print journal articles includes month, season,or issue number (only one, in that order of preference). The issueidentification should be enclosed in parentheses and follow directlyafter volume number.

    Aldrich, John H. 1980. “A Dynamic Model of PresidentialNomination Campaigns.” American Political Science Review 74 (September): 651–69.

    The article takes headline capitalization regardless of how it washandled in the actual journal.

    Put the issue number in parentheses and allow one space between thecolon and the pages.

    Electronic Journals Give as much of the following information as isknown: author’s name, document date (year), title of the article, title ofthe journal, any additional information provided (month and day), fullretrieval path, date of last access in parentheses.

    Browning, Tonya. 1997. “Embedded Visuals: Student Designin Web Spaces.” Kairos: A Journal for Teachers of Writing inWebbed Environment 3 (1). http://english.ttu.edu/-kairos/2.1/features/browning/index.html(Accessed October 21, 1997).

    Forthcoming Work

    Jacoby, William G. N.d. “Ideology and Popular Culture.”American Political Science Review. Forthcoming.
  15. Unpublished Works
    If an unpublished work has a sewn or glued binding, the title takes italics, like a book; otherwise, place the title in quotes.

    Dissertation or Thesis. (CMS 17.214)

    Munger, Frank J. 1955. “Two-Party Politics in the State ofIndiana.” Ph.D. diss. [or Master’s thesis.] Harvard University.

    Paper Presented at a Meeting. (CMS 17.215)

    Mefford, Dwain, and Brian Ripley. 1987. “The CognitiveFoundation of Regime Theory.” Presented at the AnnualMeeting of the American Political Science Association,Chicago.

    Manuscript in Author’s Possession.

    Banks, Jeffrey S., and George Bordes. 1987. “VotingGames, Indifference, and Consistent SequentialChoice Rules.” University of Rochester. Typescript.

    Identify the material form (typescript, mimeo, photocopy, etc.) and theinstitution with which the author is affiliated.
  16. Older Works
    For references either to older literature that is reprinted or to neweditions or translations of older (or “classic”) works, include the originalyear of publication in brackets ([ ] ) (unless unknown) along with thedate of publication of the edition being used. (CMS 17.259)

    Burke, Edmund. [1790] 1987. Reflections on the Revolution in France. Ed. John G. A. Pocock.Indianapolis: Hackett.

    Madison, James, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay.[1788] 1966. The Federalist Papers. Ed. Roy P.Fairfield. Garden City, NY: Anchor Books.

    Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. [1933] 1964. The Communist Manifesto. New York: MonthlyReview Press.

    For reprint editions, both the original date (in brackets ) and the reprintdate should be given; publication information for the reprint shouldfollow.

    Campbell, Angus, Philip E. Converse, Warren E. Miller,and Donald E. Stokes. [1960] 1980. The American Voter. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, MidwayReprint.

    No reference is necessary unless a particular editor is specified,provided that the work has short, numbered sections to replace pagenumbers in the citation.
  17. Government Documents
    Congressional Reports and Documents. The reference begins withU. S. Congress, House or Senate, followed by any committee, year, title,Congress, session, and report or document number or committee printnumber. Include bills and resolutions and publications by commissionsin this category.

    U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations. 1956.The Mutual Security Act. 84th Cong., 2d sess., S. Rept. 2273.

    U.S. Congress. Senate. 1934. Report of the Federal Trade Commission on Utility Corporations. 70th Cong., 1st sess., S.Doc. 92, pt. 71A.

    Hearings. Provide the same information as for reports and documentsbut with the exact date in place of the report or document number.

    U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations. 1985.Famine in Africa. 99th Cong., 1st sess., 17 January.

    Statutes. Provide the name of the statute, source (U.S. Code or Statutesat Large), volume, section, and (if relevant) page.

    Administrative Procedure Act. 1946. Statutes at Large. Vol. 60,sec. 10, p. 243.

    Congressional Debates. The reference begins with CongressionalRecord, followed by the year, Congress, session, volume, and part.

    Congressional Record. 1966. 89th Cong., 2d sess., vol. 112, pt. 16.
  18. Government Documents
    Presidential Proclamations and Executive Orders. Providepresident’s name, year, title or description, Federal Register, volume,number, and page.

    Reagan, Ronald. 1984. Caribbean Basin Economy Recovery Act,Proclamation 5142. Federal Register, vol. 49, no. 2, p. 341.

    Executive Department Documents. Provide corporate author, year,title, city, and publisher. If author and publisher are the same, repeat thename or use an acronym.

    U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census. 1975.Statistical Abstract of the United States. Washington, D.C.:Department of Commerce.

    Treaties. Provide corporate author, year, treaty name, date, treaty series(e.g., TIAS), volume, and part or number.

    U.S. Department of State. 1963. Nuclear Weapons Test Ban,5 August. TIAS no. 5433. U.S. Treaties and Other InternationalAgreements, vol. 14, pt. 3.
  19. Government Documents
    National Archives. Provide corporate author, title or description, file (ifrelevant), record group, and National Archives.

    U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. “Lobbying.”File 71A-F15. Record group 46. National Archives.

    Technical Reports. Provide author, year, title, city, publisher, and NTISor ERIC number (if available).

    Gottfredson, L. S. 1980. How Valid Are Occupational ReinforcerPattern Scores? Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University. ERIC,ED 182 465.

    Legal References. List full bibliographic information for court casesin the references. (This differs from CMS.) Give the case, year, volume,source, page on which the case begins, and (in parentheses) district ofany lower federal court. If possible, use U.S. Reports for Supreme Courtdecisions, rather than Lawyer’s Edition or Supreme Court Reporter.

    Baker v. Carr. 1962. 369 U.S. 186.

    Lessard v. Schmidt. 1972. 349 F. Supp. 1078 (E.D. Wisc.).

    Early in the Supreme Court’s history, cases were identified by therecording clerk’s name, rather than a source title:

    Marbury v. Madison. 1803. 1 Cranch 137.
  20. Data Archived And Available at the Inter-universityConsortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
    References should be modeled on the official citations provided bythe ICPSR, making three changes to adapt them to APSA style: add theICPSR study number to the full reference (omit leading zeros); use thedate of ICPSR distribution as the publication date; and change the caseof the study title.

    For example, at the ICPSR web site the following information is givenfor a data set:

    STUDYNO = 6805;

    CITATION=Eldersveld, Samuel J., John E. Jackson, M. KentJennings, Kenneth Lieberthal, Melanie Manion, MichaelOksenberg, Zhefu Chen, Hefeng He, Mingming Shen, QingkuiXie, Ming Yang, and Fengchun Yang. FOUR-COUNTY STUDYOF CHINESE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL ECONOMY,1990 [Computer file]. ICPSR version. Ann Arbor, MI: Universityof Michigan/Beijing, China: Beijing University [producers], 1994.Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political andSocial Research [distributor], 1996.;

    For the complete reference in the list of references at the end of apaper, use:

    Eldersveld, Samuel J., John E. Jackson, M. Kent Jennings,Kenneth Lieberthal, Melanie Manion, Michael Oksenberg,Zhefu Chen, Hefeng He, Mingming Shen, Qingkui Xie,Ming Yang, and Fengchun Yang. 1996. Four-County Studyof Chinese Local Government and Political Economy,1990 [computer file] (Study #6805). ICPSR version. AnnArbor, MI: University of Michigan/Beijing, China: BeijingUniversity [producers], 1994. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-universityConsortium for Political and Social Research [distributor],1996.
  21. Electronic Sources
    Citation of references from Internet sites is formatted to be as similarto normal article or book references as possible, with the addition oftheir Internet addresses and the date of your last access. The latter isused because these materials may not be permanently available. Toavoid citation of materials that are no longer available in this form, orincorrect Internet addresses, please check, as late as possible in theproduction of your article, that all Internet references can be foundat the addresses given in your citations, and update the date of lastaccess accordingly.
  22. Electronic Sources
    File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Sites. To cite text or data files availablefor downloading via ftp, give as much of the following information asis known: author’s name, document date (year), full title of the work in quotation marks, any additional date information provided (monthand day), address of the ftp site including full path needed to accessthe document, and the date of your last access.

    Bruckman, Amy. 1994. “Approaches to Managing DeviantBehavior in Virtual Communities.” April. ftp://ftp.media.mit.edu/pub/asb/papers/deviance-chi94.txt (December 4, 1994)

    Web sites. To cite text or data files that may be viewed or downloadedonline through the web, give as much of the following informationas is known: author’s name, document date (year), title of the work inquotation marks, the title of the complete work if applicable in italics(for example, a full book title if you are citing a chapter), any additionaldate information provided (month and day), URL (Uniform ResourceLocator or address) including full path needed to access the document,and the date of your last access in parentheses. URLs that are too longfor one line should be continued on the next line without using ahyphen.

    King, Gary, Michael Tomz, and Jason Wittenberg. 1998. “Makingthe Most of Statistical Analyses: Improving Interpretationand Presentation.” September 7. http://gking.harvard.edu/preprints.shtml (October 22, 1998).
  23. English Translations
    Duverger, Maurice. 1954. Political Parties. Trans. Barbara Northand Robert North. New York: Wiley.
  24. Sources in Other Languages
    Translate titles of books and articles in brackets after the foreign title;if only the English translation is given, identify the original language inbrackets after the title. Do not translate the names of periodicals. Forforeign language titles, capitalize only the first word and any propernouns occurring in it (except for German, in which all common nounsare also capitalized):

    Miyamoto, Yoshio. 1942. Hoso to kokka [Broadcasting and thenational defense state]. Tokyo: Nihon Hoso Shuppan Kyokai.

  25. Magazine Articles
    References to popular magazines require the author , year, article, title, magazine title, month, day, (for a weekkly or bimonthly), and page numbers.

    Prufer, Olaf.1954. "The Hopewell Cult." Scientific American, December, 13-15.
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APSA How to cite and reference sources

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