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
Lipkin, H.J., 2000. The structure of matter. Nature 406, 127.
A journal article with 2 authors
Mackelprang, R., Rubin, E.M., 2008. Paleontology. New tricks with old bones. Science 321, 211–212.
A journal article with 3 authors
Alfe, D., Gillan, M.J., Price, G.D., 2000. Constraints on the composition of the Earth’s core from ab initio calculations. Nature 405, 172–175.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Zhao, Z.Y., Liu, M.F., Li, X., Lin, L., Yan, Z.B., Dong, S., Liu, J.-M., 2014. Experimental observation of ferrielectricity in multiferroic DyMn2O5. Sci. Rep. 4, 3984.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Silva Elipe, M.V., 2011. LC-NMR and Other Hyphenated NMR Techniques. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Yager, R.R., Reformat, M.Z., Alajlan, N. (Eds.), 2015. Intelligent Methods for Cyber Warfare, Studies in Computational Intelligence. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Ferrari, S., Zanotto, V., 2016. Thermal Comfort Approaches and Building Performance, in: Zanotto, V. (Ed.), Building Energy Performance Assessment in Southern Europe, SpringerBriefs in Applied Sciences and Technology. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp. 47–60.

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
Fang, J., 2014. Young Blood Recharges Brains of Old Mice [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, 2003. Contracting for Information Technology Services (No. GAO-03-384R). 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
Krishnan, R., 2014. Generalized Conditional Matching Algorithm for Ordered and Unordered Sets (Doctoral dissertation). University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.

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., 2001. World Briefing | Europe: Abkhazia: Air Strikes On Rebels. New York Times A14.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Lipkin, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Lipkin, 2000; Mackelprang and Rubin, 2008).

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

  • Two authors: (Mackelprang and Rubin, 2008)
  • Three or more authors: (Zhao et al., 2014)

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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