How to format your references using the World Development citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for World Development. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
DeLisi, C. (2008). Meetings that changed the world: Santa Fe 1986: Human genome baby-steps. Nature, 455(7215), 876–877.
A journal article with 2 authors
Kidder, S. Q., & Vonder Haar, T. H. (2010). Atmospheric science. Observing weather from space. Science (New York, N.Y.), 327(5969), 1085–1086.
A journal article with 3 authors
Gans, J., Wolinsky, M., & Dunbar, J. (2005). Computational improvements reveal great bacterial diversity and high metal toxicity in soil. Science (New York, N.Y.), 309(5739), 1387–1390.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Bashir, T., Dorrello, N. V., Amador, V., Guardavaccaro, D., & Pagano, M. (2004). Control of the SCF(Skp2-Cks1) ubiquitin ligase by the APC/C(Cdh1) ubiquitin ligase. Nature, 428(6979), 190–193.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Harris, J. (2013). The Utopian Globalists. Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
An edited book
Ramina, R. (2008). Samii’s Essentials in Neurosurgery (M. Tatagiba, Ed.). Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Roskos, K., & Burstein, K. (2013). Print to Pixel: Foundations of an E-Book Instructional Model in Early Literacy. In A. Shamir & O. Korat (Eds.), Technology as a Support for Literacy Achievements for Children at Risk (pp. 47–57). Springer Netherlands.

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 World Development.

Blog post
Luntz, S. (2016, November 10). Neurotransmitter Boost Has Fast-Acting Antidepressant Effects In Mice. IFLScience; IFLScience.


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. (1992). Digests of Decisions of the Comptroller General of the United States, Vol. III, No. 10 (147910). U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Ashrafzadeh, M. H. (2008). Provision of community services for the mentally challenged population in Iran [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Phoenix.

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
Walsh, M. W. (2011, December 24). Bankruptcy Filing Raises Doubts About a Bond Repayment Pledge. 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 (DeLisi, 2008).
This sentence cites two references (DeLisi, 2008; Kidder & Vonder Haar, 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Kidder & Vonder Haar, 2010)
  • Three authors: (Gans et al., 2005)
  • 6 or more authors: (Bashir et al., 2004)

About the journal

Full journal titleWorld Development
AbbreviationWorld Dev.
ISSN (print)0305-750X
ScopeEconomics and Econometrics
Geography, Planning and Development
Sociology and Political Science

Other styles