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
Jensen, G. J. (2009). Cell biology. Protein filaments caught in the act. Science (New York, N.Y.), 323(5913), 472–473.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ernest, S. K., & Brown, J. H. (2001). Delayed compensation for missing keystone species by colonization. Science (New York, N.Y.), 292(5514), 101–104.
A journal article with 3 authors
Körtner, G., Brigham, R. M., & Geiser, F. (2000). Winter torpor in a large bird. Nature, 407(6802), 318.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Chen, G., Ren, J.-G., Zhang, W., Sun, Y.-F., Wang, F.-Q., Li, R.-F., Zhang, J., & Zhao, Y.-F. (2014). Disorganized vascular structures in sporadic venous malformations: a possible correlation with balancing effect between Tie2 and TGF-β. Scientific Reports, 4, 5457.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Flood, J. M. (2014). Wiley Gaap 2015. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Cortelezzi, L., & Mezić, I. (Eds.). (2009). Analysis and Control of Mixing with an Application to Micro and Macro Flow Processes (Vol. 510). Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Shen, Y., Hermans, E., Brijs, T., & Wets, G. (2014). Fuzzy Data Envelopment Analysis in Composite Indicator Construction. In A. Emrouznejad & M. Tavana (Eds.), Performance Measurement with Fuzzy Data Envelopment Analysis (pp. 89–100). 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
Andrews, R. (2016, May 5). San Andreas Fault Is “Locked, Loaded And Ready To Go,” Says Leading Seismologist. 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. (1972). Examination of Selected Aspects of the Financial Management System of Goddard Space Flight Center (No. 093277). 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
Jackson, M. E. (2010). Where are the parents: The parent’s perspective of parental involvement in education [Doctoral dissertation]. George Washington 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
Peters, M. E., & Barend, S. (2017, July 17). Why Private Cash Improves Public Works. New York Times, A19.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Jensen, 2009).
This sentence cites two references (Ernest & Brown, 2001; Jensen, 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Ernest & Brown, 2001)
  • Three authors: (Körtner et al., 2000)
  • 6 or more authors: (Chen et al., 2014)

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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