How to format your references using the Operations Research Letters citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Operations Research Letters. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
B.W. Mel, Neurobiology. What the synapse tells the neuron, Science. 295 (2002) 1845–1846.
A journal article with 2 authors
J. Begbie, A. Graham, Integration between the epibranchial placodes and the hindbrain, Science. 294 (2001) 595–598.
A journal article with 3 authors
P.J. Westfall, D.R. Ballon, J. Thorner, When the stress of your environment makes you go HOG wild, Science. 306 (2004) 1511–1512.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
J. Beermann, R.L. Eriksen, T. Holmgaard, K. Pedersen, S.I. Bozhevolnyi, Plasmonic black metals via radiation absorption by two-dimensional arrays of ultra-sharp convex grooves, Sci. Rep. 4 (2014) 6904.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
P.V. O’Neil, Beginning Partial Differential Equations, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2008.
An edited book
P. Li, X. Wang, eds., Ecological Migration, Development and Transformation: A Study of Migration and Poverty Reduction in Ningxia, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
M.O. Myreen, G. Curello, Proof Pearl: A Verified Bignum Implementation in x86-64 Machine Code, in: G. Gonthier, M. Norrish (Eds.), Certified Programs and Proofs: Third International Conference, CPP 2013, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, December 11-13, 2013, Proceedings, Springer International Publishing, Cham, 2013: pp. 66–81.

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 Operations Research Letters.

Blog post
E. Andrew, Gates Foundation Will Require All Funded Research To Be Open Access, IFLScience. (2014).


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, Tax Systems Modernization: IRS Could Have Avoided Successful Protests of Major Computer Procurement, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1992.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
G.A. Borgman, Loneliness and the Hermitic Psyche, Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute, 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
M.R. Gordon, E. Schmitt, Wrestling With North Korea, Trump Finds Perilous Options, New York Times. (2017) A1.

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 titleOperations Research Letters
AbbreviationOper. Res. Lett.
ISSN (print)0167-6377
Management Science and Operations Research
Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Applied Mathematics

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