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
M. Famulok, Molecular biology. RNAs turn on in tandem, Science. 306 (2004) 233–234.
A journal article with 2 authors
B. Haran, M. Poliakoff, SPORE series winner. The periodic table of videos, Science. 332 (2011) 1046–1047.
A journal article with 3 authors
G. Werlen, B. Hausmann, E. Palmer, A motif in the alphabeta T-cell receptor controls positive selection by modulating ERK activity, Nature. 406 (2000) 422–426.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
S. Kawata, H.B. Sun, T. Tanaka, K. Takada, Finer features for functional microdevices, Nature. 412 (2001) 697–698.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
K. Bartlett, The Experience of History, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK, 2016.
An edited book
T. McEwan, J. Gulliksen, D. Benyon, eds., People and Computers XIX — The Bigger Picture: Proceedings of HCI 2005, Springer, London, 2006.
A chapter in an edited book
M. Majumder, R.N. Barman, Application of Artificial Neural Networks in Short-Term Rainfall Forecasting, in: M. Majumder, R.N. Barman (Eds.), Application of Nature Based Algorithm in Natural Resource Management, Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, 2013: pp. 43–58.

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, Why Does New York Have The Best Bagels?, 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, Educating Deaf Students at Federally Assisted Postsecondary Schools, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1986.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
E.P. Hagarty, A predictive risk modeling system for the management of small-scale water and wastewater facilities: Toward long-term sustainability of our national parks, Doctoral dissertation, George Washington University, 2008.

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
L. Saslow, Stony Brook Medical Center Names Chief Executive, New York Times. (2006) 14LI2.

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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