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
Smith, C., 2007. Tools for drug discovery: tools of the trade. Nature 446, 219–222.
A journal article with 2 authors
Genet, C., Ebbesen, T.W., 2007. Light in tiny holes. Nature 445, 39–46.
A journal article with 3 authors
Grbic, A., Jiang, L., Merlin, R., 2008. Near-field plates: subdiffraction focusing with patterned surfaces. Science 320, 511–513.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Grima, B., Chélot, E., Xia, R., Rouyer, F., 2004. Morning and evening peaks of activity rely on different clock neurons of the Drosophila brain. Nature 431, 869–873.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Bhaskar, K., Varadan Retd., T.K., 2014. Plates. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Zhou, J., Yung, M., Bao, F. (Eds.), 2006. Applied Cryptography and Network Security: 4th International Conference, ACNS 2006, Singapore, June 6-9, 2006. Proceedings, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Kim, J., 2011. Energy-Aware On-Chip Networks, in: Kyung, C.-M., Yoo, S. (Eds.), Energy-Aware System Design: Algorithms and Architectures. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp. 93–118.

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, D., 2016. Madagascar’s ‘Swamp Lemurs’ Have Been Documented For The First Time [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, 1992. Education Issues (No. OCG-93-18TR). 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
Swenson, M.D., 2012. Second generation Latinos and the perceived barriers to college enrollment (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
Blinder, A., 2016. Dead Children, a Crumpled Bus and a Dazed City. New York Times A12.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Smith, 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Genet and Ebbesen, 2007; Smith, 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Genet and Ebbesen, 2007)
  • Three or more authors: (Grima et al., 2004)

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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