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
Gewin, V. (2002). Groundbreaking research. Nature, 420(6914), 4–6.
A journal article with 2 authors
Liu, Y., & Imlay, J. A. (2013). Cell death from antibiotics without the involvement of reactive oxygen species. Science (New York, N.Y.), 339(6124), 1210–1213.
A journal article with 3 authors
Bergmann, D. C., Lukowitz, W., & Somerville, C. R. (2004). Stomatal development and pattern controlled by a MAPKK kinase. Science (New York, N.Y.), 304(5676), 1494–1497.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Dasgupta, S., Rajapakshe, K., Zhu, B., Nikolai, B. C., Yi, P., Putluri, N., Choi, J. M., Jung, S. Y., Coarfa, C., Westbrook, T. F., Zhang, X. H.-F., Foulds, C. E., Tsai, S. Y., Tsai, M.-J., & O’Malley, B. W. (2018). Metabolic enzyme PFKFB4 activates transcriptional coactivator SRC-3 to drive breast cancer. Nature, 556(7700), 249–254.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Coenen, T. (2008). Essentials of Corporate Fraud. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Heck, A. (Ed.). (2006). Organizations and Strategies in Astronomy Volume 6 (Vol. 335). Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Matricon, J., & Giuffrida, A. (2013). Cannabinoid Modulation of Dopaminergic Circuits in Neurodegenerative and Neuropsychiatric Disorders. In E. J. Van Bockstaele (Ed.), Endocannabinoid Regulation of Monoamines in Psychiatric and Neurological Disorders (pp. 73–101). Springer.

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
Hale, T. (2016, September 15). There’s A New Way For Crooks To Get Your Card Details From An ATM. 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. (1989). Job Training Partnership Act: Information on Training, Placements, and Wages of Male and Female Participants (HRD-89-152FS). 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
Fister, T. W. (2017). Activating the art classroom: Combining critical pedagogy, visual culture and socially engaged art to promote agency amongst high school students [Doctoral dissertation]. California State University, Long Beach.

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
Pilon, M. (2014, October 30). A Lawyer by Day, a Runner Always. New York Times, B18.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Gewin, 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Gewin, 2002; Liu & Imlay, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Liu & Imlay, 2013)
  • Three authors: (Bergmann et al., 2004)
  • 6 or more authors: (Dasgupta et al., 2018)

About the journal

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

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