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
Gifford, D. K. (2001). Blazing pathways through genetic mountains. Science (New York, N.Y.), 293(5537), 2049–2051.
A journal article with 2 authors
Green, C. B., & Menaker, M. (2003). Circadian rhythms. Clocks on the brain. Science (New York, N.Y.), 301(5631), 319–320.
A journal article with 3 authors
Baldi, C., Cho, S., & Ellis, R. E. (2009). Mutations in two independent pathways are sufficient to create hermaphroditic nematodes. Science (New York, N.Y.), 326(5955), 1002–1005.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Yu, H., Lu, C., Tieu, A. K., Godbole, A., Su, L., Sun, Y., et al. (2013). Fabrication of ultra-thin nanostructured bimetallic foils by Accumulative Roll Bonding and Asymmetric Rolling. Scientific reports, 3, 2373.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Degner, R., & Leibl, S. (2005). pH messen. Weinheim, FRG: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Wetzelhuetter, C. (Ed.). (2013). Groundwater in the Coastal Zones of Asia-Pacific (Vol. 7). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Huang, Z., Chen, Y., & Chavarría-Miranda, D. (2013). High-Performance Computing for Real-Time Grid Analysis and Operation. In S. K. Khaitan & A. Gupta (Eds.), High Performance Computing in Power and Energy Systems (pp. 151–188). 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. (2013, October 29). Ultra-Thin Membranes Could Lead To Chip-Sized Electroosmotic Pumps. 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. (2014). Unmanned Aerial Systems: Efforts Made toward Integration into the National Airspace Continue, but Many Actions Still Required (No. GAO-15-254T). 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
Sugg, J. (2012). Small Graces: Mapping a Route of Beauty to the Heart of the World (Doctoral dissertation). Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, 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
Stewart, J. B. (2016, September 15). Clinton Plan for Taxes Is Expansive but Complex. New York Times, p. B1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Gifford 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Gifford 2001; Green and Menaker 2003).

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

  • Two authors: (Green and Menaker 2003)
  • Three or more authors: (Yu et al. 2013)

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

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