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
Peters, J. W. 2002. “Enzymology. A trio of transition metals in anaerobic CO2 fixation.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 298(5593):552–553.
A journal article with 2 authors
Doak, D. F., and W. F. Morris. 2010. “Demographic compensation and tipping points in climate-induced range shifts.” Nature 467(7318):959–962.
A journal article with 3 authors
Ragunathan, K., G. Jih, and D. Moazed. 2015. “Epigenetics. Epigenetic inheritance uncoupled from sequence-specific recruitment.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 348(6230):1258699.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Sun, S.-H., M.-S. Jiang, X.-C. Ma, C.-Y. Li, and L.-M. Liang. 2014. “Hacking on decoy-state quantum key distribution system with partial phase randomization.” Scientific reports 4:4759.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Wen, S., and P. Huang. 2011. Principles of Tribology. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pte Ltd.
An edited book
Faraoni, V. 2011. Beyond Einstein Gravity: A Survey of Gravitational Theories for Cosmology and Astrophysics. Ed. S. Capozziello. Vol. 170. Fundamental Theories of Physics. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Richard, J., J.-M. Robert, S. Malo, and J. Migneault. 2011. “Giving UI Developers the Power of UI Design Patterns.” In Human Interface and the Management of Information. Interacting with Information: Symposium on Human Interface 2011, Held as Part of HCI International 2011, Orlando, FL, USA, July 9-14, 2011, Proceedings, Part I, ed. M. J. Smith and G. Salvendy, 40–47. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. 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
Hale, T. 2017. “This Cloud Actually Rains Drops Of Tequila.” 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. 2013. VA Education Benefits: VA Needs to Improve Program Management and Provide More Timely Information to Students. 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
Ravilla, S. 2013. “Correlation between diabetes and periodontitis.” 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
Poniewozik, J. 2017. “Fox News Is Fixing For a Fight At Night.” New York Times, May 3.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Peters 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Peters 2002; Doak and Morris 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Doak and Morris 2010)
  • Three or more authors: (Sun et al. 2014)

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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