How to format your references using the Light: Science & Applications citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Light: Science & Applications. 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
Carmichael M. Drug safety: double jeopardy. Nature 2013; 498: S14-5.
A journal article with 2 authors
Grant MR, Jones JDG. Hormone (dis)harmony moulds plant health and disease. Science 2009; 324: 750–752.
A journal article with 3 authors
Cortright RD, Davda RR, Dumesic JA. Hydrogen from catalytic reforming of biomass-derived hydrocarbons in liquid water. Nature 2002; 418: 964–967.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Yoshida S, Date Y, Akama M, Kikuchi J. Comparative metabolomic and ionomic approach for abundant fishes in estuarine environments of Japan. Sci Rep 2014; 4: 7005.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Omura G, Benton BC. Mastering AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Indianapolis, Indiana, 2017.
An edited book
Dang TK, Wagner R, Neuhold E, Takizawa M, Küng J, Thoai N (eds.). Future Data and Security Engineering: First International Conference, FDSE 2014, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, November 19-21, 2014, Proceedings. Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2014.
A chapter in an edited book
Firoozye NB, Ariff F. Probability: The Building Blocks. In: Ariff F (ed). Managing Uncertainty, Mitigating Risk: Tackling the Unknown in Financial Risk Assessment and Decision Making. Palgrave Macmillan UK: London, 2016, pp 55–80.

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 Light: Science & Applications.

Blog post
O`Callaghan J. First Brain-to-Brain Interface Could Revolutionize Neuroscience. IFLScience. 2015.


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. Status, Progress, and Problems in Federal Agency Accounting 1969 Annual Report. U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1970.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Dixon-Thompson TL. The relationship between the usage of a Computer Assisted Instructional (CAI) program, Ticket to Read (T2R) and reading achievement in third grade. 2015.

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
Kenigsberg B. This Time Tomorrow. New York Times. 2017; : C9.

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 titleLight: Science & Applications
AbbreviationLight Sci. Appl.
ISSN (online)2047-7538

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