How to format your references using the Research Policy citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Research Policy. 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
Mirkin, S.M., 2007. Expandable DNA repeats and human disease. Nature 447, 932–940.
A journal article with 2 authors
Kliebenstein, D.J., Rowe, H.C., 2009. Plant science. Anti-rust antitrust. Science 323, 1301–1302.
A journal article with 3 authors
Park, I.-U., Peacey, M.W., Munafò, M.R., 2014. Modelling the effects of subjective and objective decision making in scientific peer review. Nature 506, 93–96.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Park, S.Y., Lytton-Jean, A.K.R., Lee, B., Weigand, S., Schatz, G.C., Mirkin, C.A., 2008. DNA-programmable nanoparticle crystallization. Nature 451, 553–556.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Coles, A., Hawkins, D.G., 2011. MIDAS Technical Analysis. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Gordon, I.J. (Ed.), 2009. The Vicuña: The Theory and Practice of Community Based Wildlife Management. Springer US, Boston, MA.
A chapter in an edited book
Chalkias, A., Iacovidou, N., 2016. Diagnostic Biomarkers of Acute Kidney Injury in Newborns, in: Patel, V.B., Preedy, V.R. (Eds.), Biomarkers in Kidney Disease. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp. 27–40.

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 Research Policy.

Blog post
Andrew, E., 2015. Shape-Shifting Frog Discovered In Ecuador [WWW Document]. IFLScience. URL (accessed 10.30.18).


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, 1988. Strategic Air Command: KC-135A Crash and the Need for SAC Air Show Regulations (No. NSIAD-88-172). U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Mukherjee, N., 2003. Development of High Sensitivity Bending Mode Polymer Piezoelectric Devices for Inner Ear Implantation (Doctoral dissertation). University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH.

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
Davey, M., Walsh, M.W., 2013. Billions in Debt, Detroit Tumbles Into Insolvency. New York Times A1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Mirkin, 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Kliebenstein and Rowe, 2009; Mirkin, 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Kliebenstein and Rowe, 2009)
  • Three or more authors: (Park et al., 2008)

About the journal

Full journal titleResearch Policy
AbbreviationRes. Policy
ISSN (print)0048-7333
ScopeManagement of Technology and Innovation
Strategy and Management
Management Science and Operations Research

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