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
Cox, A.L., 2015. MEDICINE. Global control of hepatitis C virus. Science 349, 790–791.
A journal article with 2 authors
Fallani, L., Inguscio, M., 2008. Physics. Controlling cold-atom conductivity. Science 322, 1480–1481.
A journal article with 3 authors
Aarts, H., Custers, R., Marien, H., 2008. Preparing and motivating behavior outside of awareness. Science 319, 1639.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Mahajan, D., Boh, B.K., Zhou, Y., Chen, L., Cornvik, T.C., Hong, W., Lu, L., 2013. Mammalian Mon2/Ysl2 regulates endosome-to-Golgi trafficking but possesses no guanine nucleotide exchange activity toward Arl1 GTPase. Sci. Rep. 3, 3362.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Recho, N., 2012. Fracture Mechanics and Crack Growth. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Berke, G., 2005. Killer Lymphocytes. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht.
A chapter in an edited book
Olbers, D., Willebrand, J., Eden, C., 2012. Approximations Relating to Density Changes and Geometric Conditions, in: Willebrand, J., Eden, C. (Eds.), Ocean Dynamics. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 117–136.

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
Andrews, R., 2016. Something Just Put A Dent In One Of Saturn’s Rings [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, 1999. Federal Aviation Administration: Issues Concerning the Reauthorization of Aviation Programs (No. T-RCED-99-68). 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
Christiansen, L.M., 2009. The impact of high quality professional development on student achievement in the state of Missouri (Doctoral dissertation). Lindenwood University, St. Charles, MO.

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
Kelly, M., 1992. Clinton Set for a Vacation Of Sports and Lots of Talk. New York Times D8.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Cox, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Cox, 2015; Fallani and Inguscio, 2008).

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

  • Two authors: (Fallani and Inguscio, 2008)
  • Three or more authors: (Mahajan et al., 2013)

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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