How to format your references using the APL Materials citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for APL Materials. 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
1 P. Smaglik, “Brain storm,” Nature 450(7166), 130–131 (2007).
A journal article with 2 authors
1 E.R. Smith, and D.M. Mackie, “Behavior. Surprising emotions,” Science 323(5911), 215–216 (2009).
A journal article with 3 authors
1 E. Bazin, S. Glémin, and N. Galtier, “Population size does not influence mitochondrial genetic diversity in animals,” Science 312(5773), 570–572 (2006).
A journal article with 4 or more authors
1 A. Ninfo, A. Fontana, P. Mozzi, and F. Ferrarese, “The map of Altinum, ancestor of Venice,” Science 325(5940), 577 (2009).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1 A.B. Bakshi, and V.K. Prasanna, Architecture-Independent Programming for Wireless Sensor Networks (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2007).
An edited book
1 F.E. Zein, A.I. Suciu, M. Tosun, A.M. Uludağ, and S. Yuzvinsky, editors , Arrangements, Local Systems and Singularities: CIMPA Summer School, Galatasaray University, Istanbul, 2007 (Birkhäuser, Basel, 2010).
A chapter in an edited book
1 M. Zöller, and T. Jung, in Liver Metastasis: Biology and Clinical Management, edited by P. Brodt (Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, 2011), pp. 89–127.

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 APL Materials.

Blog post
1 E. Andrew, “Common Science Myths That Most People Believe,” IFLScience, (2014).


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
1 Government Accountability Office, State of the Airline Industry: Strategies for Addressing Financial and Competition Problems (U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1993).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1 J.L. Maloney, Analyzing Students’ Personal Characteristics to Determine Study Outcomes, Doctoral dissertation, Lindenwood University, 2015.

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
1 M.J.O. Murphy, “Watching Youth Fly by, in Fiction and Fact,” New York Times, AR12 (2015).

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in superscript:

This sentence cites one reference 1.
This sentence cites two references 1,2.
This sentence cites four references 1–4.

About the journal

Full journal titleAPL Materials
AbbreviationAPL Mater.
ISSN (online)2166-532X

Other styles