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. Choi JR. A novel method for analyzing complicated quantum behaviors of light waves in oscillating turbulent plasma. Sci Rep. 2014;4:6880.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Hittinger CT, Carroll SB. Gene duplication and the adaptive evolution of a classic genetic switch. Nature. 2007;449:677–81.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Knauth LP, Burt DM, Wohletz KH. Impact origin of sediments at the Opportunity landing site on Mars. Nature. 2005;438:1123–8.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Miller CN, Proekt I, von Moltke J, Wells KL, Rajpurkar AR, Wang H, et al. Thymic tuft cells promote an IL-4-enriched medulla and shape thymocyte development. Nature. 2018;559:627–31.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Bertocchi M, Schwartz SL, Ziemba WT. Optimizing the Aging, Retirement, and Pensions Dilemma. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2010.
An edited book
1. Whitting DA. Hair Growth and Disorders. Blume-Peytavi U, Tosti A, Trüeb RM, editors. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2008.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Pereira L, Alves M. Dyes—Environmental Impact and Remediation. In: Malik A, Grohmann E, editors. Environmental Protection Strategies for Sustainable Development. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands; 2012. p. 111–62.

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. Carpineti A. Mysterious Signals From Center Of The Milky Way Probably Pulsars Not Dark Matter. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2017.


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. Nextgen Air Transportation System: Mechanisms for Collaboration and Technology Transfer Could Be Enhanced to More Fully Leverage Partner Agency and Industry Resources. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2011 Jun. Report No.: GAO-11-604.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Brookman D. Establishing context for referents in online chatroom conversations [Doctoral dissertation]. [Long Beach, CA]: California State University, Long Beach; 2009.

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. Greenhouse L. Second Hearing on Detroit Drug-Search Case Shows Deep Divisions on Supreme Court. New York Times. 2006 May 19;A20.

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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