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
Hess, H. (2006). Materials science. Toward devices powered by biomolecular motors. Science (New York, N.Y.), 312(5775), 860–861.
A journal article with 2 authors
Jackson, B. E., & McInerney, M. J. (2002). Anaerobic microbial metabolism can proceed close to thermodynamic limits. Nature, 415(6870), 454–456.
A journal article with 3 authors
Prakash, M., Quéré, D., & Bush, J. W. M. (2008). Surface tension transport of prey by feeding shorebirds: the capillary ratchet. Science (New York, N.Y.), 320(5878), 931–934.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Price, T. A. R., Hodgson, D. J., Lewis, Z., Hurst, G. D. D., & Wedell, N. (2008). Selfish genetic elements promote polyandry in a fly. Science (New York, N.Y.), 322(5905), 1241–1243.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Mohan, N. (2014). Advanced Electric Drives. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Janicak, P. G., Marder, S. R., Tandon, R., & Goldman, M. (Eds.). (2014). Schizophrenia: Recent Advances in Diagnosis and Treatment. New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Ciocchetta, F. (2008). The BlenX Language with Biological Transactions. In C. Priami (Ed.), Transactions on Computational Systems Biology IX (pp. 114–152). Berlin, Heidelberg: 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. (2014, March 17). New Technology Allows Water Purification Using Sunlight. 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. (1992). Policy Guidance 1963-1986: Interview With Donald J. Horan, Eugene L. Pahl, and Allen R. Voss (No. OP-23-OH). 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
Luna, M. (2017). A Case Study of the Influence of Multipurpose Spaces on Campus Life at an Institution of Art and Design (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
St. John Kelly, E. (1998, April 12). Hasidic Housing a Letdown. New York Times, p. 147.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Hess 2006).
This sentence cites two references (Hess 2006; Jackson and McInerney 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Jackson and McInerney 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Price et al. 2008)

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