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
Van Overwalle G (2010) Intellectual Property. Turning Patent Swords into Shares. Science (New York, N.Y.) 330(6011), 1630–1631.
A journal article with 2 authors
Walker MJ and Beatson SA (2012) Epidemiology. Outsmarting Outbreaks. Science (New York, N.Y.) 338(6111), 1161–1162.
A journal article with 3 authors
Lacks DJ, Van Orman JA, and Lesher CE (2012) Isotope Fractionation in Silicate Melts. Nature 482(7385), E1; discussion E1-2.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Saurin AJ et al. (2001) A Drosophila Polycomb Group Complex Includes Zeste and DTAFII Proteins. Nature 412(6847), 655–660.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Grous A (2012) Fracture Mechanics 3. Hoboken, NJ USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Attal S, Joye A, and Pillet C-A (eds.) (2006) Open Quantum Systems I: The Hamiltonian Approach. (Vol. 1880). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Morgenstern J, Garg D, and Pfenning F (2012) A Proof-Carrying File System with Revocable and Use-Once Certificates. In C Meadows and C Fernandez-Gago (eds.), Security and Trust Management: 7th International Workshop, STM 2011, Copenhagen, Denmark, June 27-28, 2011, Revised Selected Papers. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, pp. 40–55.

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
Andrews R (2016, November 21) Supermoon Tide Washes Bemused Octopus Into Miami Parking Garage. (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 (1982) UMTA’s Research and Development Program Should Pay Closer Attention to Transit Industry Needs (No. CED-82-17). 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
Shakya RM (2014) Watershed-Scale Evaluation of Flood Reduction Effect of Low Impact Development Designs (Doctoral dissertation). Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL.

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
Schaub M (2017, July 13) Rich Is Rabbit. New York Times, p. BR11.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Van Overwalle 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Van Overwalle 2010; Walker and Beatson 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Walker and Beatson 2012)
  • Three authors: (Lacks, Van Orman, and Lesher 2012)
  • 6 or more authors: (Saurin, Shao, Erdjument-Bromage, Tempst, and Kingston 2001)

About the journal

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

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