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. Rensberger B. Science journalism: Too close for comfort. Nature. 2009;459:1055–6.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Brooks T, Smith ML. Ecology. Caribbean catastrophes. Science. 2001;294:1469–71.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Arnqvist G, Jones TM, Elgar MA. Insect behaviour: reversal of sex roles in nuptial feeding. Nature. 2003;424:387.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Gunjakar JL, Kim TW, Kim IY, Lee JM, Hwang S-J. Highly efficient visible light-induced O₂ generation by self-assembled nanohybrids of inorganic nanosheets and polyoxometalate nanoclusters. Sci Rep. 2013;3:2080.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Danson E. Drawing the Line. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc; 2016.
An edited book
1. Malevergne Y. Extreme Financial Risks: From Dependence to Risk Management. Sornette D, editor. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2006.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Sun LR, Felling RJ. Pediatric Vascular Neurology and Syndromes. In: Agrawal A, Britz G, editors. Pediatric Vascular Neurosurgery: Principles and Practice of Neurovascular Disorders (Part 1). Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016. p. 37–46.

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. Luntz S. Boxes For Owls Help Overcome Middle East Divisions [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2017 [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. Customs Service Modernization: Results of Review of First Automated Commercial Environment Expenditure Plan. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2001 Jun. Report No.: GAO-01-696.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Parker DD. Uncovering Three Trumpet Works of Sofia Gubaidulina [Doctoral dissertation]. [Long Beach, CA]: California State University, Long Beach; 2017.

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. Stewart JB. Struggling to Find the Spirit of ’86. New York Times. 2017 Jul 20;B1.

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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