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
Neff, B. D. (2003). Decisions about parental care in response to perceived paternity. Nature, 422(6933), 716–719.
A journal article with 2 authors
Lubenov, E. V., & Siapas, A. G. (2009). Hippocampal theta oscillations are travelling waves. Nature, 459(7246), 534–539.
A journal article with 3 authors
Linnerooth-Bayer, J., Mechler, R., & Pflug, G. (2005). Refocusing disaster aid. Science (New York, N.Y.), 309(5737), 1044–1046.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Zheng, A. Y., Lawhorn, J. K., Lumley, T., & Freeman, S. (2008). Assessment. Application of Bloom’s taxonomy debunks the “MCAT myth.” Science (New York, N.Y.), 319(5862), 414–415.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Rhee, M. Y. (2013). Wireless Mobile Internet Security. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Itakura, S., & Fujita, K. (Eds.). (2008). Origins of the Social Mind: Evolutionary and Developmental Views. Tokyo: Springer Japan.
A chapter in an edited book
Piasecka, L. (2016). Activating Character Strengths Through Poetic Encounters in a Foreign Language—A Case Study. In D. Gabryś-Barker & D. Gałajda (Eds.), Positive Psychology Perspectives on Foreign Language Learning and Teaching (pp. 75–92). 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 Sciences.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2014, October 27). Watch The Antares Rocket Launch Tonight Live. 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). National Assessment Technical Quality (No. PEMD-92-22R). 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
Roche, W. A. (2006). The Structure and Grounding of Epistemic Justification (Doctoral dissertation). Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.

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
Lee, L. (2012, April 15). Bridal Hunger Games. New York Times, p. ST14.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Neff 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Lubenov and Siapas 2009; Neff 2003).

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

  • Two authors: (Lubenov and Siapas 2009)
  • Three or more authors: (Zheng 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