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
Holden C. DIVERSITY: Parity as a Goal Sparks Bitter Battle. Science 2000; 289: 380.
A journal article with 2 authors
Bouibes A, Zaoui A. High-pressure polymorphs of ZnCO₃: evolutionary crystal structure prediction. Sci Rep 2014; 4: 5172.
A journal article with 3 authors
Chung K, Lee C-H, Yi G-C. Transferable GaN layers grown on ZnO-coated graphene layers for optoelectronic devices. Science 2010; 330: 655–657.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Yan Y, Liao Z-M, Zhou Y-B, Wu H-C, Bie Y-Q, Chen J-J et al. Synthesis and quantum transport properties of Bi₂Se₃ topological insulator nanostructures. Sci Rep 2013; 3: 1264.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Pakurar AS, Bigbee JW. Digital Histology. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ, 2005.
An edited book
Alexis AF, Barbosa VH (eds.). Skin of Color: A Practical Guide to Dermatologic Diagnosis and Treatment. Springer: New York, NY, 2013.
A chapter in an edited book
Paniker J, Wilson GR, Rao J. Knee. In: Bowyer G, Cole A (eds). Selected References in Trauma and Orthopaedics. Springer: London, 2014, pp 77–113.

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
Luntz S. First Snakes Had Cute Ankles And Toes. IFLScience. 2015. (accessed 30 Oct2018).


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. Mass Transit: Preliminary Views on Options for Additional Fiscal Oversight of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 2005.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Shimpeno PD. Consumed: Simple Choices, Complex Problems. 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
Yablonsky L. ‘Caligula’ Gives a Toga Party (But No One’s Really Invited). New York Times. 2006; : 234.

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

Other styles