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
Hoag, H. 2014. “Drug Delivery: Brain Food.” Nature, 510(7506): S6-7.
A journal article with 2 authors
Brawley, C. and E. Matunis. 2004. “Regeneration of Male Germline Stem Cells by Spermatogonial Dedifferentiation in Vivo.” Science (New York, N.Y.), 304(5675): 1331–1334.
A journal article with 3 authors
Dumont, S., E. D. Salmon, and T. J. Mitchison. 2012. “Deformations within Moving Kinetochores Reveal Different Sites of Active and Passive Force Generation.” Science (New York, N.Y.), 337(6092): 355–358.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Kerr, B., M. A. Riley, M. W. Feldman, and B. J. M. Bohannan. 2002. “Local Dispersal Promotes Biodiversity in a Real-Life Game of Rock-Paper-Scissors.” Nature, 418(6894): 171–174.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Brauer, R. L. 2005. Safety and Health for Engineers, Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Jonsson, B. 2011. Ecology of Atlantic Salmon and Brown Trout: Habitat as a Template for Life Histories edited by N. Jonsson, Fish & Fisheries Series, Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Patil, M. and P. Rodey. 2015. “Buck Converter in Closed Loop.” In Control Systems for Power Electronics: A Practical Guide, edited by P. Rodey, SpringerBriefs in Applied Sciences and Technology, pp. 29–37. New Delhi: Springer India.

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. “New Potential Driver Of Alzheimer’s Discovered,” 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. 2005. “Vehicle Safety: Opportunities Exist to Enhance NHTSA’s New Car Assessment Program,” GAO-05-370, 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
Bernal, E. 2013. Ethnographic Research of Emergent Cultural Themes from Technology-Based Informal Education in a Museum. Doctoral dissertation. Long Beach, CA: California State University, Long Beach.

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
Kenigsberg, B. 2017. “Returning, and Inspiring the Likes of Spielberg.” New York Times: C6.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Hoag 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Hoag 2014; Brawley and Matunis 2004).

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

  • Two authors: (Brawley and Matunis 2004)
  • Three authors: (Dumont, Salmon, and Mitchison 2012)
  • 4 or more authors: (Kerr et al. 2002)

About the journal

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

Other styles