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, “California dreaming: San Diego,” Nature 422(6928), 240–241 (2003).
A journal article with 2 authors
1 J.D. Hansen, and J. Reich, “Democratizing education? Examining access and usage patterns in massive open online courses,” Science 350(6265), 1245–1248 (2015).
A journal article with 3 authors
1 P. Garcia, R. Armstrong, and M.H. Zaman, “Models of education in medicine, public health, and engineering,” Science 345(6202), 1281–1283 (2014).
A journal article with 4 or more authors
1 M.R. Dawson, L. Marivaux, C.-K. Li, K.C. Beard, and G. Métais, “Laonastes and the ‘Lazarus effect’ in recent mammals,” Science 311(5766), 1456–1458 (2006).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1 D. Prutchi, and M. Norris, Design and Development of Medical Electronic Instrumentation (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2004).
An edited book
1 M. Butler, K.-D. Schewe, A. Mashkoor, and M. Biro, editors , Abstract State Machines, Alloy, B, TLA, VDM, and Z: 5th International Conference, ABZ 2016, Linz, Austria, May 23-27, 2016, Proceedings (Springer International Publishing, Cham, 2016).
A chapter in an edited book
1 V. Troger, and W. Hörner, in International Perspectives on Teachers and Lecturers in Technical and Vocational Education, edited by P. Grollmann and F. Rauner (Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, 2007), pp. 97–121.

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, “Massive Neutrinos Help Correct the Standard Model of Cosmology,” 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, Year 2000 Computing Crisis: Additional Work Remains to Ensure Delivery of Critical Services (U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1999).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1 P.R. Nesbit, Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles and Structure from Motion: A Fresh Approach to Photogrammetry, Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, 2014.

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. Pilon, “Judging Draws Renewed Scrutiny,” New York Times, B15 (2014).

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