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
Viseu, A. 2015. “Integration of social science into research is crucial.” Nature 525(7569):291.
A journal article with 2 authors
Paerl, H. W., and J. Huisman. 2008. “Climate. Blooms like it hot.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 320(5872):57–58.
A journal article with 3 authors
Tomioka, K., M. Yoshimura, and T. Fukui. 2012. “A III-V nanowire channel on silicon for high-performance vertical transistors.” Nature 488(7410):189–192.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Humphries, N. E., N. Queiroz, J. R. M. Dyer, N. G. Pade, M. K. Musyl, K. M. Schaefer, D. W. Fuller, … D. W. Sims. 2010. “Environmental context explains Lévy and Brownian movement patterns of marine predators.” Nature 465(7301):1066–1069.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Levene, M. 2010. An Introduction to Search Engines and Web Navigation. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Griebel, M. 2007. Numerical Simulation in Molecular Dynamics: Numerics, Algorithms, Parallelization, Applications. Ed. G. Zumbusch and S. Knapek. Vol. 5. Texts in Computational Science and Engineering. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Tscherning, H., and L. Mathiassen. 2010. “The Role of Social Networks in Early Adoption of Mobile Devices.” In Human Benefit through the Diffusion of Information Systems Design Science Research: IFIP WG 8.2/8.6 International Working Conference, Perth, Australia, March 30 – April 1, 2010. Proceedings, ed. J. Pries-Heje, J. Venable, D. Bunker, N. L. Russo, and J. I. DeGross, 52–70. IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.

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
Taub, B. 2016. “Watch This Wingsuited Daredevil Pull Off The Highest BASE Jump Ever.” 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. 1992. Embedded Computer Systems: C-17 Software Development Problems. 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
Chandwasker, T. 2016. “Comparison of ad-hoc on demand distance vector and enhanced-ad-hoc on demand distance vector on vehicular ad-hoc networks.” 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
Park, L. S. 2015. “Look on the Bright Side.” New York Times, January 18.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Viseu 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Viseu 2015; Paerl and Huisman 2008).

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

  • Two authors: (Paerl and Huisman 2008)
  • Three or more authors: (Humphries et al. 2010)

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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