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
Grant, P. M. 2007. “Obituary: Chauncey Starr (1912-2007).” Nature 447(7146):789.
A journal article with 2 authors
Kuwahara, H., and X. Gao. 2013. “Stochastic effects as a force to increase the complexity of signaling networks.” Scientific reports 3:2297.
A journal article with 3 authors
Good, M. C., J. G. Zalatan, and W. A. Lim. 2011. “Scaffold proteins: hubs for controlling the flow of cellular information.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 332(6030):680–686.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Krams, I. A., I. Skrinda, S. Kecko, F. R. Moore, T. Krama, A. Kaasik, L. Meija, V. Lietuvietis, and M. J. Rantala. 2014. “Body height affects the strength of immune response in young men, but not young women.” Scientific reports 4:6223.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Vitale, J. 2007. The Seven Lost Secrets of Success. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Badica, Amelia, Bogdan Trawinski, and Ngoc Thanh Nguyen, eds. 2014. Recent Developments in Computational Collective Intelligence. Vol. 513. Studies in Computational Intelligence. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Sen, S., and R. Williams. 2009. “Liver Substitution.” In Artificial Organs, ed. N. S. Hakim, 57–76. London: 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
Andrew, E. 2015. “Pseudoscience And Conspiracy Theory Are Not Victimless Crimes Against Science.” 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. 2016. Polar Weather Satellites: NOAA Is Working to Ensure Continuity but Needs to Quickly Address Information Security Weaknesses and Future Program Uncertainties. 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
Tambornini, T. F. 2013. “Supportive and subsidized housing solutions for Sonoma County: A grant project.” 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
Koblin, J. 2017. “TV in the Age of Trump.” 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 (Grant 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Grant 2007; Kuwahara and Gao 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Kuwahara and Gao 2013)
  • Three or more authors: (Krams 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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