How to format your references using the Government and Opposition citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Government and Opposition. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Trewavas A (2002) Mindless Mastery. Nature 415(6874), 841.
A journal article with 2 authors
de Groot BL and Grubmüller H (2001) Water Permeation across Biological Membranes: Mechanism and Dynamics of Aquaporin-1 and GlpF. Science (New York, N.Y.) 294(5550), 2353–2357.
A journal article with 3 authors
Lu N, Ji A, and Cao Z (2013) Nearly Constant Electrical Resistance over Large Temperature Range in Cu3NMx (M = Cu, Ag, Au) Compounds. Scientific Reports 3, 3090.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Parasoglou P et al. (2014) Three-Dimensional Saturation Transfer 31P-MRI in Muscles of the Lower Leg at 3.0 T. Scientific Reports 4, 5219.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Morris A (2008) A Practical Guide to Reliable Finite Element Modelling. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Gavrilova ML, Tan CJK, and Moreno ED (eds.) (2010) Transactions on Computational Science XI: Special Issue on Security in Computing, Part II. (Vol. 6480). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Kobsa A (2007) Generic User Modeling Systems. In P Brusilovsky, A Kobsa, and W Nejdl (eds.), The Adaptive Web: Methods and Strategies of Web Personalization. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, pp. 136–154.

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 Government and Opposition.

Blog post
Andrew E (2015, July 22) New Alzheimer’s Drug Shows Promise. (accessed 30 October 2018)


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 (1981) Better Management Needed in Social Security Administration’s Toll-Free Telephone Service to the Public (No. MASAD-82-3). 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
Matheny AL (2009) Home gardener preferences, perceptions, knowledge and behaviors associated with pest management strategies and information acquisition (Doctoral dissertation). University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, MD.

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
St. John Kelly E (2004, April 11) Bensonhurst Journal; The Time Has Come to Ride and Beep and Laugh Again. New York Times, p. 133.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Trewavas 2002).
This sentence cites two references (de Groot and Grubmüller 2001; Trewavas 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (de Groot and Grubmüller 2001)
  • Three authors: (Lu, Ji, and Cao 2013)
  • 6 or more authors: (Parasoglou, Xia, Chang, and Regatte 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleGovernment and Opposition
ISSN (print)0017-257X
ISSN (online)1477-7053

Other styles