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
K. J. Vahala, "Optical microcavities," Nature 424(6950), 839–846 (2003).
A journal article with 2 authors
T. Lechler and E. Fuchs, "Asymmetric cell divisions promote stratification and differentiation of mammalian skin," Nature 437(7056), 275–280 (2005).
A journal article with 3 authors
J. P. Croxall, P. N. Trathan, and E. J. Murphy, "Environmental change and Antarctic seabird populations," Science 297(5586), 1510–1514 (2002).
A journal article with 4 or more authors
M. L. Schiff, D. P. Siderovski, J. D. Jordan, G. Brothers, B. Snow, L. De Vries, D. F. Ortiz, and M. Diversé-Pierluissi, "Tyrosine-kinase-dependent recruitment of RGS12 to the N-type calcium channel," Nature 408(6813), 723–727 (2000).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
R. Birla, Introduction to Tissue Engineering (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2014).
An edited book
K. Kupfer, ed., Electromagnetic Aquametry: Electromagnetic Wave Interaction with Water and Moist Substances (Springer, 2005).
A chapter in an edited book
S. Angelopoulos, "Online Priority Steiner Tree Problems," in Algorithms and Data Structures: 11th International Symposium, WADS 2009, Banff, Canada, August 21-23, 2009. Proceedings, F. Dehne, M. Gavrilova, J.-R. Sack, and C. D. Tóth, eds., Lecture Notes in Computer Science (Springer, 2009), pp. 37–48.

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, "Evidence For The Earliest Oxygen-Producing Organisms Found In 3.4-BILLION-Year-Old Rocks,"


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, Federal Guidance Needed If Halfway Houses Are To Be a Viable Alternative to Prison (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
V. Minick, "Educators’ Beliefs About and Approaches to the Evaluation of Student Writing," Doctoral dissertation, University of South Florida (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
B. Rothenberg, "Kerber Loses Final and Bid for No. 1 Spot," New York Times (August 22, 2016).

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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