How to format your references using the Research Policy: X citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Research Policy: X. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Swift, J., 2014. The point of it all. Science 346, 882.
A journal article with 2 authors
Schultz, R.M., Williams, C.J., 2002. The science of ART. Science 296, 2188–2190.
A journal article with 3 authors
Keller, K.E., Tan, I.S., Lee, Y.-S., 2012. SAICAR stimulates pyruvate kinase isoform M2 and promotes cancer cell survival in glucose-limited conditions. Science 338, 1069–1072.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Prusinkiewicz, P., Erasmus, Y., Lane, B., Harder, L.D., Coen, E., 2007. Evolution and development of inflorescence architectures. Science 316, 1452–1456.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Pan, G.W., 2003. Wavelets in Electromagnetics and Device Modeling. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Gunderson, L.L., Willett, C.G., Calvo, F.A., Harrison, L.B. (Eds.), 2011. Intraoperative Irradiation: Techniques and Results, Current Clinical Oncology. Humana Press, Totowa, NJ.
A chapter in an edited book
Wagner, L.O., Yang, Z.-H., Burke, K., 2012. Exact Conditions and Their Relevance in TDDFT, in: Marques, M.A.L., Maitra, N.T., Nogueira, F.M.S., Gross, E.K.U., Rubio, A. (Eds.), Fundamentals of Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory, Lecture Notes in Physics. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 101–123.

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: X.

Blog post
Hamilton, K., 2014. Scientists Put A Worm’s Mind Into A Robot’s Body [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, 1967. Automatic Data Processing (No. 088319). 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
Conlin, L.D., 2012. Building shared understandings in introductory physics tutorials through risk, repair, conflict & comedy (Doctoral dissertation). University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, MD.

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
de la MERCED, M.J., 2017. In Rare Move, K.K.R. Picks Possible Heirs To Founders. New York Times B1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Swift, 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Schultz and Williams, 2002; Swift, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Schultz and Williams, 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Prusinkiewicz et al., 2007)

About the journal

Full journal titleResearch Policy: X
ISSN (print)2590-1451

Other styles