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
Sylvestre, D., 2011. Perspective: recognizing resistance. Nature 474, S11.
A journal article with 2 authors
Lister, A.M., Sher, A.V., 2001. The origin and evolution of the woolly mammoth. Science 294, 1094–1097.
A journal article with 3 authors
Green, E.D., Watson, J.D., Collins, F.S., 2015. Human Genome Project: Twenty-five years of big biology. Nature 526, 29–31.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Xiao, Y., Patolsky, F., Katz, E., Hainfeld, J.F., Willner, I., 2003. “Plugging into Enzymes”: nanowiring of redox enzymes by a gold nanoparticle. Science 299, 1877–1881.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ocic, O., 2004. Oil Refineries in the 21st Century. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, FRG.
An edited book
Willis-Esqueda, C. (Ed.), 2008. Motivational Aspects of Prejudice and Racism, THE NEBRASKA SYMPOSIUM ON MOTIVATION. Springer, New York, NY.
A chapter in an edited book
Devi, T.T., Katpatal, Y.B., 2016. Surface Runoff Depth by SCS Curve Number Method Integrated with Satellite Image and GIS Techniques, in: Sarma, A.K., Singh, V.P., Kartha, S.A., Bhattacharjya, R.K. (Eds.), Urban Hydrology, Watershed Management and Socio-Economic Aspects, Water Science and Technology Library. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp. 51–68.

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
Hale, T., 2016. Interactive 3D Atlas Shows Human Embryo Development In Amazing Detail [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, 1989. Laboratory Accreditation: Requirements Vary Throughout the Federal Government (No. RCED-89-102). 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
Le, C.T., 2013. Academic performance of college students as related to depression from stress (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
Poniewozik, J., 2017. Sex, Drugs and Archie. New York Times C2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Sylvestre, 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Lister and Sher, 2001; Sylvestre, 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Lister and Sher, 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Xiao et al., 2003)

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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