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
Deng, B. (2015). Motion studies: See how they run. Nature, 525(7567), 145–146.
A journal article with 2 authors
Gray, J. A., & Roth, B. L. (2002). Cell biology. A last GASP for GPCRs? Science (New York, N.Y.), 297(5581), 529–531.
A journal article with 3 authors
Wang, K., Mittler, J. E., & Samudrala, R. (2006). Comment on “Evidence for positive epistasis in HIV-1.” Science (New York, N.Y.), 312(5775), 848; author reply 848.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Stott, L., Cannariato, K., Thunell, R., Haug, G. H., Koutavas, A., & Lund, S. (2004). Decline of surface temperature and salinity in the western tropical Pacific Ocean in the Holocene epoch. Nature, 431(7004), 56–59.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Natsuno, T. (2005). i-Mode Strategy. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Palma, J. M. L. M., & Lopes, A. S. (Eds.). (2007). Advances in Turbulence XI: Proceedings of the 11th EUROMECH European Turbulance Conference, June 25-28, 2007 Porto, Portugal (Vol. 117). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Koufi, V., Malamateniou, F., & Vassilacopoulos, G. (2014). Privacy-Preserving Access Control for PHR-Based Emergency Medical Systems. In D.-D. Koutsouris & A. A. Lazakidou (Eds.), Concepts and Trends in Healthcare Information Systems (pp. 61–78). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

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
Carpineti, A. (2017, April 4). Neptune’s Formation May Have Been Smoother Than We Thought. Retrieved October 30, 2018, from


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. (1990). Overseas Allowances: Improvements Needed in Administration (No. NSIAD-90-46). 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
Delaney, D. C. (2014). Undergraduate social work students’ perceptions regarding hospice and end-of-life care (Doctoral dissertation). California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

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
(nyt), S. K. (2002, September 12). World Briefing | Europe: Russia: Another Catholic Priest Barred. New York Times, p. A6.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Deng, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Deng, 2015; Gray & Roth, 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Gray & Roth, 2002)
  • Three authors: (Wang, Mittler, & Samudrala, 2006)
  • 6 or more authors: (Stott et al., 2004)

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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