How to format your references using the Applied Physics A citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Applied Physics A. 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. T. Collins, Science 291, 48 (2001).
A journal article with 2 authors
1. E. S. Vitetta and V. F. Ghetie, Science 313, 308 (2006).
A journal article with 3 authors
1. V. N. Manoharan, M. T. Elsesser, and D. J. Pine, Science 301, 483 (2003).
A journal article with 4 or more authors
1. M. Jiménez-Alcázar, C. Rangaswamy, R. Panda, J. Bitterling, Y. J. Simsek, A. T. Long, R. Bilyy, V. Krenn, C. Renné, T. Renné, S. Kluge, U. Panzer, R. Mizuta, H. G. Mannherz, D. Kitamura, M. Herrmann, M. Napirei, and T. A. Fuchs, Science 358, 1202 (2017).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1. R. L. Church and A. T. Murray, Business Site Selection, Location Analysis and GIS (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2008).
An edited book
1. N. Lu, Capacity Analysis of Vehicular Communication Networks (Springer, New York, NY, 2014).
A chapter in an edited book
1. C. Muñoz-Mulas, R. Martínez-Olalla, P. Gómez-Vilda, A. Álvarez-Marquina, and L. M. Mazaira-Fernández, in Advances in Nonlinear Speech Processing: 6th International Conference, NOLISP 2013, Mons, Belgium, June 19-21, 2013. Proceedings, edited by T. Drugman and T. Dutoit (Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2013), pp. 25–32.

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 Applied Physics A.

Blog post
1. E. Andrew, IFLScience (2016).


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, Air Force F-22 Embedded Computers (U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1994).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1. R. Hammamy, “Promoting Responsible Action in Medical Emergencies”: Determining the Impact of a New University of Maryland Alcohol Protocol, Doctoral dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park, 2010.

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. B. Rothenberg, New York Times D6 (2017).

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

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 titleApplied Physics A
AbbreviationAppl. Phys. A Mater. Sci. Process.
ISSN (print)0947-8396
ISSN (online)1432-0630
ScopeGeneral Chemistry
General Materials Science

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