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
Baker, M., 2010. RNA interference: Homing in on delivery. Nature 464, 1225–1228.
A journal article with 2 authors
King, D.A., Thomas, S.M., 2007. Big lessons for a healthy future. Nature 449, 791–792.
A journal article with 3 authors
Zhang, F., Chen, X., Vitousek, P., 2013. Chinese agriculture: An experiment for the world. Nature 497, 33–35.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Monteiro, J.M., Pereira, A.R., Reichmann, N.T., Saraiva, B.M., Fernandes, P.B., Veiga, H., Tavares, A.C., Santos, M., Ferreira, M.T., Macário, V., VanNieuwenhze, M.S., Filipe, S.R., Pinho, M.G., 2018. Peptidoglycan synthesis drives an FtsZ-treadmilling-independent step of cytokinesis. Nature 554, 528–532.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Woo, J.-H., Sohn, J.-H., Nam, B.-G., Yoo, H.-J., 2010. Mobile 3D Graphics SoC. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
An edited book
Kole, C. (Ed.), 2013. Genomics and Breeding for Climate-Resilient Crops: Vol. 1 Concepts and Strategies. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
Pfliegler, G., 2016. Visual and Oculomotor Disorders in Internal Diseases, in: Somlai, J., Kovács, T. (Eds.), Neuro-Ophthalmology. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp. 19–25.

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. Researchers Observe Social Spread Of New Behaviors In Chimps [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, 1988. Medical ADP Systems: Composite Health Care System Operational Test and Evaluation Costs (No. IMTEC-88-18BR). 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
Duggimpudi, M.B., 2017. Object Ranking Algorithms for Improved Decision Making (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
de la MERCED, M.J., Steel, E., 2017. As Content Makers Rise, Malone Eyes Consolidation. 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 (Baker, 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Baker, 2010; King and Thomas, 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (King and Thomas, 2007)
  • Three or more authors: (Monteiro et al., 2018)

About the journal

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

Other styles