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
Sansom, M. (2012). Louise Johnson (1940-2012). Nature, 490(7421), 488.
A journal article with 2 authors
Artal-Sanz, M., & Tavernarakis, N. (2009). Prohibitin couples diapause signalling to mitochondrial metabolism during ageing in C. elegans. Nature, 461(7265), 793–797.
A journal article with 3 authors
Pfeifer, R., Lungarella, M., & Iida, F. (2007). Self-organization, embodiment, and biologically inspired robotics. Science (New York, N.Y.), 318(5853), 1088–1093.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Li, H., Yang, B., Xing, K., Yuan, N., Wang, B., Chen, Z., He, W., & Zhou, J. (2014). A preliminary study of the relationship between breast cancer metastasis and loss of heterozygosity by using exome sequencing. Scientific Reports, 4, 5460.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Sewell, G. (2005). Computational Methods of Linear Algebra. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Eaton, L. A., & Kalichman, S. C. (Eds.). (2014). Biomedical Advances in HIV Prevention: Social and Behavioral Perspectives. Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Koenig, R. E., Locher, P., & Haenni, R. (2013). Attacking the Verification Code Mechanism in the Norwegian Internet Voting System. In J. Heather, S. Schneider, & V. Teague (Eds.), E-Voting and Identify: 4th International Conference, Vote-ID 2013, Guildford, UK, July 17-19, 2013. Proceedings (pp. 76–92). 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
Davis, J. (2017, May 15). Low Oxygen Levels In The Ocean Could Lead To More Wildfires In The Future. 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. (1993). Technology Transfer: Implementation of CRADAs at NIST, Army, and DOE (T-RCED-93-53). 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
Mylonas, A. (2014). “Women are the pillars of the family”: Athenian women’s survival strategies during economic crisis [Doctoral dissertation]. California State University, Long Beach.

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
Saslow, L. (2009, March 1). From Educators, Caution on Parent Fund-Raisers and Foundations. New York Times, LI5.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Sansom, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Artal-Sanz & Tavernarakis, 2009; Sansom, 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Artal-Sanz & Tavernarakis, 2009)
  • Three authors: (Pfeifer et al., 2007)
  • 6 or more authors: (Li 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

Other styles