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
White, B. T. 2012. “IBI series winner. Aipotu: simulation from nucleotides to populations and back again.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 337(6093):424–425.
A journal article with 2 authors
Cannon, C. P., and P. J. Cannon. 2012. “Physiology. COX-2 inhibitors and cardiovascular risk.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 336(6087):1386–1387.
A journal article with 3 authors
Wallace, G. G., S. E. Moulton, and G. M. Clark. 2009. “Applied physics. Electrode-cellular interface.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 324(5924):185–186.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Lanzetti, L., A. Palamidessi, L. Areces, G. Scita, and P. P. Di Fiore. 2004. “Rab5 is a signalling GTPase involved in actin remodelling by receptor tyrosine kinases.” Nature 429(6989):309–314.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Audibert, P. 2013. Mathematics for Informatics and Computer Science. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Rumbley, Laura E., Robin Matross Helms, Patti Mcgill Peterson, and Philip G. Altbach, eds. 2014. Global Opportunities and Challenges for Higher Education Leaders: Briefs on Key Themes. Global Perspectives on Higher Education. Rotterdam: SensePublishers.
A chapter in an edited book
Li, S., H. Sun, and X. Zheng. 2011. “A Case Study on Design of Teacher Peer-Coaching Activities Supported by a Web 2.0 Community.” In Hybrid Learning: 4th International Conference, ICHL 2011, Hong Kong, China, August 10-12, 2011. Proceedings, ed. R. Kwan, J. Fong, L.-F. Kwok, and J. Lam, 40–50. 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
Fang, J. 2015. “Why are the Dutch the Tallest People on Earth?” 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. 2007. Information Technology: VA and DOD Are Making Progress in Sharing Medical Information, but Are Far from Comprehensive Electronic Medical Records. 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
Altebarmakian, T. 2012. “Salt of the Skin.” 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
Billard, M. 2010. “As Calculated As Tie-Dye Can Get.” New York Times, May 20.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (White 2012).
This sentence cites two references (White 2012; Cannon and Cannon 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Cannon and Cannon 2012)
  • Three or more authors: (Lanzetti et al. 2004)

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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