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. Bader J. Climate science: The origin of regional Arctic warming. Nature. 2014;509:167–8.
A journal article with 2 authors
1. Farley KA, Mukhopadhyay S. An extraterrestrial impact at the Permian-Triassic boundary? Science. 2001;293:2343.
A journal article with 3 authors
1. Carlson RW, Boyet M, Horan M. Chondrite barium, neodymium, and samarium isotopic heterogeneity and early Earth differentiation. Science. 2007;316:1175–8.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
1. Razem FA, El-Kereamy A, Abrams SR, Hill RD. The RNA-binding protein FCA is an abscisic acid receptor. Nature. 2006;439:290–4.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. Zhurin VV. Industrial Ion Sources. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA; 2011.
An edited book
1. Kobayashi-Hillary M, editor. Building a Future with BRICs: The Next Decade for Offshoring. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2008.
A chapter in an edited book
1. Awrejcewicz J. Contact Characteristics During Braking process. In: Awrejcewicz J, editor. Nonsmooth Dynamics of Contacting Thermoelastic Bodies. New York, NY: Springer; 2009. p. 1–20.

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. Is This Italian Volcano About To Explode Into Life And Bury Rome? [Internet]. IFLScience. IFLScience; 2016 [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. NASA: Changes to the Scope, Schedule, and Estimated Cost of the Earth Observing System. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1992 Jul. Report No.: NSIAD-92-223.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. Hurwitz BL. Viral community dynamics and functional specialization in the Pacific Ocean [Doctoral dissertation]. [Tucson, AZ]: University of Arizona; 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. Koblin J, Maheshwari S. With a ‘Roseanne’ Revival and the Backstreet Boys, ABC Mines the Past. New York Times. 2017 May 17;B2.

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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