How to format your references using the Biomedical Optics Express citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Biomedical Optics Express. 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
G. Eberl, "Immunology: A is for immunity," Nature 508(7494), 47–48 (2014).
A journal article with 2 authors
I. S. Povolotskaya and F. A. Kondrashov, "Sequence space and the ongoing expansion of the protein universe," Nature 465(7300), 922–926 (2010).
A journal article with 3 authors
J. D. Archibald, A. O. Averianov, and E. G. Ekdale, "Late Cretaceous relatives of rabbits, rodents, and other extant eutherian mammals," Nature 414(6859), 62–65 (2001).
A journal article with 4 or more authors
M. Yasunaga, M. Furuta, K. Ogata, Y. Koga, Y. Yamamoto, M. Takigahira, and Y. Matsumura, "The significance of microscopic mass spectrometry with high resolution in the visualisation of drug distribution," Sci. Rep. 3, 3050 (2013).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
N. Mohan, Advanced Electric Drives (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2014).
An edited book
W. Li, Planning and Scheduling for Maritime Container Yards: Supporting and Facilitating the Global Supply Network (Springer International Publishing, 2015).
A chapter in an edited book
X. Guang and Z. Zhang, "Random Linear Network Error Correction Coding," in Linear Network Error Correction Coding, Z. Zhang, ed., SpringerBriefs in Computer Science (Springer, 2014), pp. 85–94.

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 Biomedical Optics Express.

Blog post
J. Davis, "Tea Consumption Might Alter Gene Expression In Women, But Not Men,"


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, College Work-Study Program (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1975).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
O. Sylvain, "Domesticating “the Great, Throbbing, Common Pulse of America”: A Study of the Ideological Origins of the Radio Act of 1927," Doctoral dissertation, Columbia University (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
G. Loomis, "Changing the Formula at the Salzburg Festival," New York Times (August 24, 2012).

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 titleBiomedical Optics Express
ISSN (online)2156-7085

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