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
Motavalli, J. (2015). Technology: A solid future. Nature, 526(7575), S96-7.
A journal article with 2 authors
Selosse, M.-A., & Rousset, F. (2011). Evolution. The plant-fungal marketplace. Science (New York, N.Y.), 333(6044), 828–829.
A journal article with 3 authors
Schoemaker, H. E., Mink, D., & Wubbolts, M. G. (2003). Dispelling the myths--biocatalysis in industrial synthesis. Science (New York, N.Y.), 299(5613), 1694–1697.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Lee, K.-Y., D’Acquisto, F., Hayden, M. S., Shim, J.-H., & Ghosh, S. (2005). PDK1 nucleates T cell receptor-induced signaling complex for NF-kappaB activation. Science (New York, N.Y.), 308(5718), 114–118.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Chu, P. P. (2011). Embedded SoPC Design with Nios II Processor and VHDL Examples. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Henderson, B. A. (Ed.). (2016). Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery (1st ed. 2016). Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Alapati, S. R., Kuhn, D., & Padfield, B. (2011). Minimizing System Contention. In D. Kuhn & B. Padfield (Eds.), Oracle Database 11g Performance Tuning Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach (pp. 147–183). Apress.

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, E. (2015, March 4). Newly Identified Hormone Reduces Diet-Induced Obesity In Rodents. 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). FAA Work Forces: Important Decisions Affecting Staff Use and Management (T-RCED-93-59). 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
Sherman, L. J. (2009). Bridging the attachment transmission gap with maternal mind-mindedness and infant temperament [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Maryland, College Park.

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
Hodara, S. (2016, February 21). Where Paintings Have Overtaken Pixels. New York Times, CT9.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Motavalli, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Motavalli, 2015; Selosse & Rousset, 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Selosse & Rousset, 2011)
  • Three authors: (Schoemaker et al., 2003)
  • 6 or more authors: (Lee et al., 2005)

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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