How to format your references using the Policy Sciences citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Policy Sciences. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Collins, F. (2010). Scientists need a shorter path to research freedom. Nature, 467(7316), 635.
A journal article with 2 authors
Bauer, J., & Prenzel, M. (2012). Science education. European teacher training reforms. Science (New York, N.Y.), 336(6089), 1642–1643.
A journal article with 3 authors
Head, I. M., Jones, D. M., & Larter, S. R. (2003). Biological activity in the deep subsurface and the origin of heavy oil. Nature, 426(6964), 344–352.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Kunjithapatham, R., Karthikeyan, S., Geschwind, J.-F., Kieserman, E., Lin, M., Fu, D.-X., & Ganapathy-Kanniappan, S. (2014). Reversal of anchorage-independent multicellular spheroid into a monolayer mimics a metastatic model. Scientific reports, 4, 6816.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Grimes, R. A. (2017). Hacking the Hacker. Indianapolis, Indiana: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Zhang, Y. (aimee) (Ed.). (2015). Handbook of Mobile Teaching and Learning. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Eberhardt, U., Rulhoff, S., & Stjepandic, J. (2010). Integration of Time Management in the Digital Factory. In J. Pokojski, S. Fukuda, & J. Salwiński (Eds.), New World Situation: New Directions in Concurrent Engineering: Proceedings of the 17th ISPE International Conference on Concurrent Engineering (pp. 33–41). London: Springer.

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 Sciences.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2015, September 7). Five Myths About Gravitational Waves. IFLScience. IFLScience. Accessed 30 October 2018


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. (2011). Green Information Technology: Agencies Have Taken Steps to Implement Requirements, but Additional Guidance on Measuring Performance Needed (No. GAO-11-638). 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
Gonzalez, S. E. (2014). Ideal leadership practices in Head Start: Understanding leadership from the perspectives of directors and teachers (Doctoral dissertation). California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, 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
Vecsey, G. (2016, July 21). The Sideline as Studio. New York Times, p. C17.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Collins 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Bauer and Prenzel 2012; Collins 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Bauer and Prenzel 2012)
  • Three or more authors: (Kunjithapatham et al. 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titlePolicy Sciences
AbbreviationPolicy Sci.
ISSN (print)0032-2687
ISSN (online)1573-0891
ScopeManagement, Monitoring, Policy and Law
General Social Sciences
Sociology and Political Science
Public Administration

Other styles