How to format your references using the Optical Engineering citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Optical Engineering. 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
J. Dalibard, “Journal club. A quantum-gas specialist learns about crystals from his own science,” Nature 457(7230), 639 (2009).
A journal article with 2 authors
S. D. Fugmann and D. G. Schatz, “Immunology. One AID to unite them all,” Science 295(5558), 1244–1245 (2002).
A journal article with 3 authors
W. W. Cochran, H. Mouritsen, and M. Wikelski, “Migrating songbirds recalibrate their magnetic compass daily from twilight cues,” Science 304(5669), 405–408 (2004).
A journal article with 4 or more authors
G. G. Gregoriou et al., “High-frequency, long-range coupling between prefrontal and visual cortex during attention,” Science 324(5931), 1207–1210 (2009).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
M. Britton, YouthNation, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ (2015).
An edited book
J. Krüger, B. Nickolay, and S. Gaycken, Eds., The Secure Information Society: Ethical, Legal and Political Challenges, Springer, London (2013).
A chapter in an edited book
J. Damon, P. Giblin, and G. Haslinger, “Singularity Equivalence Groups Capturing Interactions,” in Local Features in Natural Images via Singularity Theory, P. Giblin and G. Haslinger, Eds., pp. 41–71, Springer International Publishing, Cham (2016).

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 Optical Engineering.

Blog post
E. Andrew, “New Lava Lake Appears Atop African Volcano,” IFLScience, 28 November 2014, <> (accessed 30 October 2018).


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, “Drug Abuse Control Program Activities in Okinawa,” B-164031(2), U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC (1972).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
C. K. Creed, “Identifying Controls on Patterns of Intermittent Streamflow in Three Streams of the American Southwest: A Geospatial Approach,” Doctoral dissertation, University of Louisiana (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
S. Haigney and M. Cooper, “Who’s Calling? It May Be The Opera,” in New York Times, p. C1 (2017).

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 titleOptical Engineering
AbbreviationOpt. Eng.
ISSN (print)0091-3286
ISSN (online)1560-2303
ScopeGeneral Engineering
Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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