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
S. Lloyd, Going into reverse, Nature. 430 (2004) 971.
A journal article with 2 authors
J.H. Jones, M.S. Handcock, Social networks: Sexual contacts and epidemic thresholds, Nature. 423 (2003) 605–6; discussion 606.
A journal article with 3 authors
E.V. Koonin, Y.I. Wolf, G.P. Karev, The structure of the protein universe and genome evolution, Nature. 420 (2002) 218–223.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
D. Wang, Z. Zhang, Z. Zhu, B. Liang, Magnetic structure and magnetic transport properties of graphene nanoribbons with sawtooth zigzag edges, Sci. Rep. 4 (2014) 7587.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Y. Shi, M. Liu, F. Fang, Combined Cooling, Heating, and Power Systems, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK, 2017.
An edited book
C. Rong, M.G. Jaatun, F.E. Sandnes, L.T. Yang, J. Ma, eds., Autonomic and Trusted Computing: 5th International Conference, ATC 2008, Oslo, Norway, June 23-25, 2008 Proceedings, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2008.
A chapter in an edited book
K. Schneider, Rationale as a By-Product, in: A.H. Dutoit, R. McCall, I. Mistrík, B. Paech (Eds.), Rationale Management in Software Engineering, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2006: pp. 91–109.

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
K. Evans, New Zealand’s Yellow-Eyed Penguins Could Be Extinct In Just 25 years, IFLScience. (2017).


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, Head Start: A More Comprehensive Risk Management Strategy and Data Improvements Could Further Strengthen Program Oversight, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2008.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
M. Rouhani, Overdose prevention and naloxone distribution: A grant project, Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, 2013.

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
S. Kishkovsky, Moscow Journal; Feast or Fast? Russians Just Can’t Give Up Lent, New York Times. (2002) A4.

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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