How to format your references using the Canadian Public Policy citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Canadian Public Policy (CPP). 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
East, R. 2013. “Microbiome: Soil science comes to life.” Nature 501(7468):S18-9.
A journal article with 2 authors
Lau, H., and B. Maniscalco. 2010. “Neuroscience. Should confidence be trusted?” Science (New York, N.Y.) 329(5998):1478–1479.
A journal article with 3 authors
Cincotta, R. P., J. Wisnewski, and R. Engelman. 2000. “Human population in the biodiversity hotspots.” Nature 404(6781):990–992.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Martin, A., P. D. Bardwell, C. J. Woo, M. Fan, M. J. Shulman, and M. D. Scharff. 2002. “Activation-induced cytidine deaminase turns on somatic hypermutation in hybridomas.” Nature 415(6873):802–806.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Zlokarnik, M. 2005. Scale-up. Weinheim, FRG: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Fischer, Klaus, Jörg P. Müller, and Renato Levy, eds. 2012. Agent-Based Technologies and Applications for Enterprise Interoperability: International Workshops ATOP 2009, Budapest, Hungary, May 12, 2009, and ATOP 2010, Toronto, ON, Canada, May 10, 2010, Revised Selected Papers. Vol. 98. Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Durand-Lasserve, A., and H. Selod. 2009. “The Formalization of Urban Land Tenure in Developing Countries.” In Urban Land Markets: Improving Land Management for Successful Urbanization, ed. S. V. Lall, M. Freire, B. Yuen, R. Rajack, and J.-J. Helluin, 101–132. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

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 Canadian Public Policy.

Blog post
Andrew, E. 2015. “Nearby Star Has Three Planets Slightly Larger Than Earth, With One In Habitable Zone.” 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. 1987. Buy America Requirements: Federal Enforcement Questioned in Sacramento Mass Transit Procurement. 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
Rodriguez, J. 2010. “Viviendo en las sombras: Examining the educational experiences of undocumented immigrant Latino students in a public secondary school setting.” Doctoral dissertation, Long Beach, CA: 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
Hubbard, B., and S. Almosawa. 2017. “Somali Migrants’ Trek Becomes Scene of Horror.” 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 (East 2013).
This sentence cites two references (East 2013; Lau and Maniscalco 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Lau and Maniscalco 2010)
  • Three or more authors: (Martin et al. 2002)

About the journal

Full journal titleCanadian Public Policy
AbbreviationCan. Public Policy
ISSN (print)0317-0861
ScopeSociology and Political Science
Public Administration

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