How to format your references using the Psychology, Public Policy, and Law citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. 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
Munk, W. (2003). Ocean science. Ocean freshening, sea level rising. Science (New York, N.Y.), 300(5628), 2041–2043.
A journal article with 2 authors
Suit, H. D., & Withers, H. R. (2001). Endothelial cells and radiation gastrointestinal syndrome. Science (New York, N.Y.), 294(5546), 1411.
A journal article with 3 authors
Xin, H., Liu, Q., & Li, B. (2014). Non-contact fiber-optical trapping of motile bacteria: dynamics observation and energy estimation. Scientific Reports, 4, 6576.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Noctor, S. C., Flint, A. C., Weissman, T. A., Dammerman, R. S., & Kriegstein, A. R. (2001). Neurons derived from radial glial cells establish radial units in neocortex. Nature, 409(6821), 714–720.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Moeller, R. R. (2013). Executive’s Guide to IT Governance. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Spyns, P., & Odijk, J. (Eds.). (2013). Essential Speech and Language Technology for Dutch: Results by the STEVIN-programme. Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Bakas, S., Hoppe, A., Chatzimichail, K., Galariotis, V., Hunter, G., & Makris, D. (2012). Focal Liver Lesion Tracking in CEUS for Characterisation Based on Dynamic Behaviour. In G. Bebis, R. Boyle, B. Parvin, D. Koracin, C. Fowlkes, S. Wang, M.-H. Choi, S. Mantler, J. Schulze, D. Acevedo, K. Mueller, & M. Papka (Eds.), Advances in Visual Computing: 8th International Symposium, ISVC 2012, Rethymnon, Crete, Greece, July 16-18, 2012, Revised Selected Papers, Part I (pp. 32–41). 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 Psychology, Public Policy, and Law.

Blog post
Andrew, D. (2017, May 22). Virtual Reality Could Transform Pornography – But There Are Dangers. 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. (2016). Management Agenda for the Presidential and Congressional Transition: Develop and Manage Information Technology to Meet the Government’s Needs (No. D15086). 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
Necaise, K. W. (2012). Effects of soybean-derived phytoestrogens on reproductive tract development in neonatal male and female pigs: Animal model for the human infant [Doctoral dissertation]. Mississippi State University.

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
Brantley, B. (2017, February 10). Yelling About Sex. New York Times, C1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Munk, 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Munk, 2003; Suit & Withers, 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Suit & Withers, 2001)
  • Three authors: (Xin et al., 2014)
  • 6 or more authors: (Noctor et al., 2001)

About the journal

Full journal titlePsychology, Public Policy, and Law
AbbreviationPsychol. Public Policy Law
ISSN (print)1076-8971
ISSN (online)1939-1528
ScopeSocial Psychology
Sociology and Political Science

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