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
D’Emic, M.D., 2015. Comment on “Evidence for mesothermy in dinosaurs.” Science 348, 982.
A journal article with 2 authors
Farmer, C.G., Sanders, K., 2010. Unidirectional airflow in the lungs of alligators. Science 327, 338–340.
A journal article with 3 authors
Griffin, B.M., Schott, J., Schink, B., 2007. Nitrite, an electron donor for anoxygenic photosynthesis. Science 316, 1870.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Yamachika, R., Grobis, M., Wachowiak, A., Crommie, M.F., 2004. Controlled atomic doping of a single C60 molecule. Science 304, 281–284.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Zhang, W., Chou, X., Shi, T., Ma, Z., Bao, H., Chen, J., Chen, L., Li, D., Xue, C., 2016. Measurement Technology for Micro-Nanometer Devices. John Wiley & Sons Singapore Pte. Ltd, Singapore.
An edited book
Sidoravicius, V., Vares, M.E. (Eds.), 2008. In and Out of Equilibrium 2, Progress in Probability. Birkhäuser, Basel.
A chapter in an edited book
Datzberger, S., 2016. Civil Society as a Postcolonial Project: Challenging Normative Notions in Post-conflict Sub-Saharan Africa, in: Dhawan, N., Fink, E., Leinius, J., Mageza-Barthel, R. (Eds.), Negotiating Normativity. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp. 79–93.

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
Luntz, S., 2016. Wire-Bending Crow Just Doing What Comes Naturally [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. Month In Review, July 1999: Reports, Testimony, Correspondence, and Other Publications (No. OPA-99-10). 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
Potter, R.H., 2017. Marx Generator Charged via Biperiodic Resonant Cascaded Transformers (Doctoral dissertation). Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.

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
Garner, D., 2014. 15 Minutes of Fame? Try 1,500 Years. New York Times MM40.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (D’Emic, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (D’Emic, 2015; Farmer and Sanders, 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Farmer and Sanders, 2010)
  • Three or more authors: (Yamachika et al., 2004)

About the journal

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

Other styles