How to format your references using the Policy and Society citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Policy and Society. 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
Smaglik, P. (2000). Varmus tells Congress to grasp thorny policy issues. Nature, 404(6778), 530.
A journal article with 2 authors
Fried, S. D., & Boxer, S. G. (2015). BIOPHYSICS. Response to Comments on “Extreme electric fields power catalysis in the active site of ketosteroid isomerase.” Science (New York, N.Y.), 349(6251), 936.
A journal article with 3 authors
Liu, W., Pellegrini, M., & Wang, X. (2014). Detecting communities based on network topology. Scientific Reports, 4, 5739.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Zhu, K., Pan, Q., Jia, L.-Q., Dai, Z., Ke, A.-W., Zeng, H.-Y., … Zhou, J. (2014). MiR-302c inhibits tumor growth of hepatocellular carcinoma by suppressing the endothelial-mesenchymal transition of endothelial cells. Scientific Reports, 4, 5524.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bennett, D. H. (2013). Bennett’s Cardiac Arrhythmias. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Brinkman, D. B., Holroyd, P. A., & Gardner, J. D. (Eds.). (2013). Morphology and Evolution of Turtles. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Alavi, S., & Kingsly Ambrose, R. P. (2016). Particulate Flow and Agglomeration in Food Extrusion. In H. G. Merkus & G. M. H. Meesters (Eds.), Production, Handling and Characterization of Particulate Materials (pp. 137–155). 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 Policy and Society.

Blog post
O`Callaghan, J. (2017, June 13). The First “Space Nation” Wants You To Live On Their Orbital Space Station. Retrieved October 30, 2018, 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
Government Accountability Office. (2015). Special Education: More Flexible Spending Requirement Could Mitigate Unintended Consequences While Protecting Services (No. GAO-16-2). 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
Minger, L. (2017). Examining Education Leadership Communication Practices around Basic and Advanced Skill Sets: A Multiple Case Study (Doctoral dissertation). Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA.

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
Shear, M. D., Steinhauer, J., & Flegenheimer, M. (2017, May 10). Sense of Crisis Deepens as Trump Defends F.B.I. Firing. New York Times, p. A1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Smaglik, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Fried & Boxer, 2015; Smaglik, 2000).

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

  • Two authors: (Fried & Boxer, 2015)
  • Three authors: (Liu, Pellegrini, & Wang, 2014)
  • 6 or more authors: (Zhu et al., 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titlePolicy and Society
AbbreviationPolicy Soc.
ISSN (print)1449-4035
ScopeSociology and Political Science
Political Science and International Relations
Public Administration

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