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
Masood, E., 2012. Expert assessments can work if lessons are learned. Nature 490, 145.
A journal article with 2 authors
Jacob, L., Lum, L., 2007. Deconstructing the hedgehog pathway in development and disease. Science 318, 66–68.
A journal article with 3 authors
Scholl, J.A., Koh, A.L., Dionne, J.A., 2012. Quantum plasmon resonances of individual metallic nanoparticles. Nature 483, 421–427.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Chen, Z., Xu, Z., Sun, S., Yu, Y., Lv, D., Cao, C., Deng, Z., 2014. TGF-β1, IL-6, and TNF-α in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid: useful markers for lung cancer? Sci. Rep. 4, 5595.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
DiBerardinis, L.J., Baum, J.S., First, M.W., Gatwood, G.T., Seth, A.K., 2013. Guidelines for Laboratory Design. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.
An edited book
Gnedin, N.Y., 2016. Star Formation in Galaxy Evolution: Connecting Numerical Models to Reality: Saas-Fee Advanced Course 43. Swiss Society for Astrophysics and Astronomy, 1st ed. 2016. ed, Saas-Fee Advanced Course. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Monaghan, K.G., Van Dyke, D.L., 2006. Laboratory Testing for Prader-Willi Syndrome, in: Butler, M.G., Lee, P.D.K., Whitman, B.Y. (Eds.), Management of Prader-Willi Syndrome. Springer, New York, NY, pp. 74–93.

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
Andrew, E., 2014. Scientists Discover Oldest Known Muscle Tissue [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. Trainer Aircraft: Plans to Replace the Existing Fleet (No. NSIAD-89-94). 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
Esmaili, G., 2006. Application of Advanced Power Electronics in Renewable Energy Sources and Hybrid Generating Systems (Doctoral dissertation). Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.

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
Feeney, K., 2008. Thinking Big On Making Little Cakes. New York Times NJ12.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Masood, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Jacob and Lum, 2007; Masood, 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Jacob and Lum, 2007)
  • Three or more authors: (Chen et al., 2014)

About the journal

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

Other styles