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
E. Ma, "Materials science. Watching the nanograins roll," Science 305(5684), 623–624 (2004).
A journal article with 2 authors
P. A. del Giorgio and C. M. Duarte, "Respiration in the open ocean," Nature 420(6914), 379–384 (2002).
A journal article with 3 authors
M. A. Prieto, G. Brunetti, and K.-H. Mack, "Particle accelerators in the hot spots of radio galaxy 3C 445, imaged with the VLT," Science 298(5591), 193–195 (2002).
A journal article with 4 or more authors
J. T. Cunningham, J. T. Rodgers, D. H. Arlow, F. Vazquez, V. K. Mootha, and P. Puigserver, "mTOR controls mitochondrial oxidative function through a YY1-PGC-1alpha transcriptional complex," Nature 450(7170), 736–740 (2007).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
V. A. Greiman, Megaproject Management (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2013).
An edited book
M. Renz, C. Shahabi, X. Zhou, and M. A. Cheema, eds., Database Systems for Advanced Applications: 20th International Conference, DASFAA 2015, Hanoi, Vietnam, April 20-23, 2015, Proceedings, Part II, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (Springer International Publishing, 2015), 9050.
A chapter in an edited book
N. Williams, D. Prohasky, J. Burry, K. Crolla, M. Leary, M. Brandt, M. Xie, and H. Seifi, "Challenges of Scale Modelling Material Behaviour of Additive-Manufactured Nodes," in Modelling Behaviour: Design Modelling Symposium 2015, M. R. Thomsen, M. Tamke, C. Gengnagel, B. Faircloth, and F. Scheurer, eds. (Springer International Publishing, 2015), pp. 45–51.

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, "Use Of CRISPR In First Human Trial Given Green Light In The US,"


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, Vocational Education: Opportunity to Prepare for the Future (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1989).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
R. Manandhar, "Synthesis and Characterization of Some Novel Dinitrosyl Diphosphine Iron Complexes," Doctoral dissertation, Southern Illinois University (2017).

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. Vecsey, "Tuning Up to Do the Super Bowl Shovel," New York Times (December 28, 2010).

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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