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
Cale, C.M., 2015. Forensic DNA evidence is not infallible. Nature 526, 611.
A journal article with 2 authors
Raymond, P.A., Bauer, J.E., 2001. Riverine export of aged terrestrial organic matter to the North Atlantic Ocean. Nature 409, 497–500.
A journal article with 3 authors
Zhu, G.-Z., Radtke, G., Botton, G.A., 2012. Bonding and structure of a reconstructed (001) surface of SrTiO3 from TEM. Nature 490, 384–387.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Geissler, P.L., Dellago, C., Chandler, D., Hutter, J., Parrinello, M., 2001. Autoionization in liquid water. Science 291, 2121–2124.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Dodson, B., Hammett, P.C., Klerx, R., 2014. Probabilistic Design for Optimization and Robustness for Engineers. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Giese, K.P., Radwanska, K. (Eds.), 2016. Novel Mechanisms of Memory. Springer International Publishing, Cham.
A chapter in an edited book
Majumder, M., Barman, R.N., Jana, B.K., Roy, P., Mazumdar, A., 2010. Impact of Climatic Uncertainty on Water Sequestration of a Subtropical River Basin, in: Jana, B.K., Majumder, M. (Eds.), Impact of Climate Change on Natural Resource Management. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp. 93–110.

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., 2015. New Fossil Evidence Suggests There Have Been 6 Mass Extinctions, Not 5 [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, 2008. Environmental Satellites: Polar-orbiting Satellite Acquisition Faces Delays; Decisions Needed on Whether and How to Ensure Climate Data Continuity (No. GAO-08-899T). 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
Primeaux, S.J., 2014. The Role of Education, Empathy, and Psychological Flexibility in Implicit and Explicit Mental Health Stigma (Doctoral dissertation). University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA.

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. Salads, Sandwiches, And Parking. New York Times NJ6.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Cale, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Cale, 2015; Raymond and Bauer, 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Raymond and Bauer, 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Geissler et al., 2001)

About the journal

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

Other styles