How to format your references using the Health Research Policy and Systems citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Health Research Policy and Systems. 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
1. Smaglik P. The best years of our lives. Nature. 2004;430:121.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Brown KM, Fialko Y. “Melt welt” mechanism of extreme weakening of gabbro at seismic slip rates. Nature. 2012;488:638–41.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Chao BF, Wu YH, Li YS. Impact of artificial reservoir water impoundment on global sea level. Science. 2008;320:212–4.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Bshary R, Grutter AS, Willener AST, Leimar O. Pairs of cooperating cleaner fish provide better service quality than singletons. Nature. 2008;455:964–6.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Hoffmann K. System Integration. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2005.
An edited book
1. Bavry AA. Acute Coronary Syndromes in Clinical Practice. Bhatt DL, editor. London: Springer; 2009.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Dyl T. The Numerical Analysis of Burnishing Process of Hollow Steel Tubes. In: Awrejcewicz J, Kaliński KJ, Szewczyk R, Kaliczyńska M, editors. Mechatronics: Ideas, Challenges, Solutions and Applications. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016. p. 65–75.

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 Health Research Policy and Systems.

Blog post
1. Andrews R. Cat Parasite Linked To Development Of Mental Illness In Owners [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2015 [cited 2018 Oct 30]. Available from:


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
1. Government Accountability Office. Year 2000 Computing Crisis: Additional Work Remains to Ensure Delivery of Critical Services. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1999 Apr. Report No.: T-AIMD-99-143.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
1. Chiu Y-YL. Multicultural educational policies: A correlational investigation of cultural competencies and feelings of inclusion [Doctoral dissertation]. [Phoenix, AZ]: University of Phoenix; 2012.

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
1. Gurley G. Since 1956, a Sensitive Guy. New York Times. 2012 Feb 19;ST2.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [1].
This sentence cites two references [1,2].
This sentence cites four references [1–4].

About the journal

Full journal titleHealth Research Policy and Systems
AbbreviationHealth Res. Policy Syst.
ISSN (online)1478-4505
ScopeHealth Policy

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