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
Heller, S. B. 2014. “Summer Jobs Reduce Violence among Disadvantaged Youth.” Science (New York, N.Y.), 346(6214): 1219–1223.
A journal article with 2 authors
Prasad, A. and P. Pospíšil. 2013. “Towards the Two-Dimensional Imaging of Spontaneous Ultra-Weak Photon Emission from Microbial, Plant and Animal Cells.” Scientific reports, 3: 1211.
A journal article with 3 authors
Pelli, D. G., B. Farell, and D. C. Moore. 2003. “The Remarkable Inefficiency of Word Recognition.” Nature, 423(6941): 752–756.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Yoon, A., G. Peng, Y. Brandenburger, Y. Brandenburg, O. Zollo, W. Xu, E. Rego, and D. Ruggero. 2006. “Impaired Control of IRES-Mediated Translation in X-Linked Dyskeratosis Congenita.” Science (New York, N.Y.), 312(5775): 902–906.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Brown, M. and T. J. Cutler. 2012. Haematology Nursing, West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Shen, B. 2014. Modelling Rock Fracturing Processes: A Fracture Mechanics Approach Using FRACOD edited by O. Stephansson and M. Rinne, Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Umetsu, D. T. and R. H. DeKruyff. 2009. “Hepatitis A Virus, TIM-1 and Allergy.” In The Hygiene Hypothesis and Darwinian Medicine, edited by G. A. W. Rook, pp. 77–92. Basel: Birkhäuser.

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
Fang, J. 2015. “How Much Gold and Silver Is Hidden Within Volcanoes?,” 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. 1976. “International Cooperation in Energy Research and Development,” 098248, 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
Nasrollahzadeh, Y. 2013. Support Group for Caregivers of Older Adults Affected by Dementia: A Grant Proposal Project. 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
Gustines, G. G. 2016. “Captain America’s Mom: Some Shocking News.” New York Times: C3.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Heller 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Heller 2014; Prasad and Pospíšil 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Prasad and Pospíšil 2013)
  • Three authors: (Pelli, Farell, and Moore 2003)
  • 4 or more authors: (Yoon 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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