How to format your references using the Policy Studies citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Policy Studies. 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
Weiss, R. A. 2001. “Gulliver’s Travels in HIVland.” Nature 410 (6831): 963–967.
A journal article with 2 authors
Sussman, Michael R., and George N. Phillips Jr. 2009. “Plant Science. How Plant Cells Go to Sleep for a Long, Long Time.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 326 (5958): 1356–1357.
A journal article with 3 authors
Tuomisto, Hanna, Kalle Ruokolainen, and Markku Yli-Halla. 2003. “Dispersal, Environment, and Floristic Variation of Western Amazonian Forests.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 299 (5604): 241–244.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Hattori, Daisuke, Yi Chen, Benjamin J. Matthews, Lukasz Salwinski, Chiara Sabatti, Wesley B. Grueber, and S. Lawrence Zipursky. 2009. “Robust Discrimination between Self and Non-Self Neurites Requires Thousands of Dscam1 Isoforms.” Nature 461 (7264): 644–648.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Kasper, Siegfried, and Stuart Montgomery. 2013. Treatment-Resistant Depression. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons.
An edited book
Kyamakya, Kyandoghere, Wolfgang A. Halang, Wolfgang Mathis, Jean Chamberlain Chedjou, and Zhong Li, eds. 2013. Selected Topics in Nonlinear Dynamics and Theoretical Electrical Engineering. Vol. 483. Studies in Computational Intelligence. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Vacha-Haase, Tammi, Weston V. Donaldson, and Amanda Foster. 2014. “Race-Ethnicity and Gender in Older Adults.” In Handbook of Race-Ethnicity and Gender in Psychology, edited by Marie L. Miville and Angela D. Ferguson, 65–83. New York, NY: 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 Studies.

Blog post
Luntz, Stephen. 2017. “Risk Of Death Is Significantly Lower In Teaching Hospitals.” IFLScience. IFLScience.


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. 1996. Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Program Staffing. RCED-96-162R. 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
McCoy, Nicholas. 2015. “Functionality Evaluation of the Wave Suppressor and Sediment Collection (WSSC) System: Wave Reduction, Sediment Collection, Mathematical Model, and Preliminary Field Evaluation.” Doctoral dissertation, Lafayette, LA: University of Louisiana.

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
Kolomatsky, Michael. 2017. “How Much Space for the Money?” New York Times, June 30.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Weiss 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Weiss 2001; Sussman and Phillips 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Sussman and Phillips 2009)
  • Three authors: (Tuomisto, Ruokolainen, and Yli-Halla 2003)
  • 4 or more authors: (Hattori et al. 2009)

About the journal

Full journal titlePolicy Studies
ISSN (print)0144-2872
ISSN (online)1470-1006
ScopePolitical Science and International Relations

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