How to format your references using the Health Services Research citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Health Services Research. 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
Cole, A. A. 2000. “ASTRONOMY: The Distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud.” Science (New York, N.Y.), 289(5482): 1149–1150.
A journal article with 2 authors
Peterca, M. and V. Percec. 2010. “Materials Science. Recasting Metal Alloy Phases with Block Copolymers.” Science (New York, N.Y.), 330(6002): 333–334.
A journal article with 3 authors
Parr, B. T., C. Economou, and S. B. Herzon. 2015. “A Concise Synthesis of (+)-Batzelladine B from Simple Pyrrole-Based Starting Materials.” Nature, 525(7570): 507–510.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Wright, T. J., C. Ebinger, J. Biggs, A. Ayele, G. Yirgu, D. Keir, and A. Stork. 2006. “Magma-Maintained Rift Segmentation at Continental Rupture in the 2005 Afar Dyking Episode.” Nature, 442(7100): 291–294.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Olsson, A. 2005. Understanding Changing Telecommunications, Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Waller, P. 2016. Irrigation and Drainage Engineering 1st ed. 2016. edited by M. Yitayew, Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Liu, L., P. Fieguth, X. Wang, M. Pietikäinen, and D. Hu. 2016. “Evaluation of LBP and Deep Texture Descriptors with a New Robustness Benchmark.” In Computer Vision – ECCV 2016: 14th European Conference, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, October 11-14, 2016, Proceedings, Part III, edited by B. Leibe, J. Matas, N. Sebe, and M. Welling, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pp. 69–86. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

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 Services Research.

Blog post
Andrew, E. 2015. “The US-Russian Space Station Mission Is A Study In Cooperation,” IFLScience, IFLScience [accessed on October 30, 2018]. Available at:


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. 1981. “HHS Ability To Effectively Implement Incentive Funding for State Information Systems in the Aid to Families With Dependent Children Program,” HRD-81-119, 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
De Felice, D. 2013. A Phenomenological Study of Teaching Endangered Languages Online: Perspectives from Nahua and Mayan Educators. Doctoral dissertation. Tampa, FL: University of South Florida.

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
Greenhouse, L. 2008. “Justices Take Case on Navy Use of Sonar.” New York Times: A17.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Cole 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Cole 2000; Peterca and Percec 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Peterca and Percec 2010)
  • Three authors: (Parr, Economou, and Herzon 2015)
  • 4 or more authors: (Wright et al. 2006)

About the journal

Full journal titleHealth Services Research
AbbreviationHealth Serv. Res.
ISSN (print)0017-9124
ISSN (online)1475-6773
ScopeHealth Policy

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