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
C. D. Fiorillo, “Two dimensions of value: dopamine neurons represent reward but not aversiveness,” Science 341(6145), 546–549 (2013).
A journal article with 2 authors
B. Poucet and F. Sargolini, “Neuroscience. A trace of your place,” Science 340(6128), 35–36 (2013).
A journal article with 3 authors
A. G. Bick, S. E. Calvo, and V. K. Mootha, “Evolutionary diversity of the mitochondrial calcium uniporter,” Science 336(6083), 886 (2012).
A journal article with 4 or more authors
J. P. Scott-Browne et al., “Germline-encoded amino acids in the alphabeta T-cell receptor control thymic selection,” Nature 458(7241), 1043–1046 (2009).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
D. Assing and S. Calé, Mobile Access Safety, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ 07030 USA (2013).
An edited book
D. Goldsmith, A. Covic, and J. Spaak, Eds., Cardio-Renal Clinical Challenges, Springer International Publishing, Cham (2015).
A chapter in an edited book
C. Gamallo-Chicano, E. Roanes-Lozano, and C. Gamallo-Amat, “A Rule–Based Expert System for Vaginal Cytology Diagnosis,” in Artificial Intelligence and Symbolic Computation: 12th International Conference, AISC 2014, Seville, Spain, December 11-13, 2014. Proceedings, G. A. Aranda-Corral, J. Calmet, and F. J. Martín-Mateos, Eds., pp. 34–48, Springer International Publishing, Cham (2014).

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
S. Luntz, “How Black Holes Destroy Star Formation,” IFLScience, 8 July 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, “FBI: Advanced Communications Technologies Pose Wiretapping Challenges,” IMTEC-92-68BR, 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
L. C. Okafor-Dike, “The effect of leadership on economic development: A case study of Nigeria,” Doctoral dissertation, University of Phoenix (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
M. Scott and J. Kanter, “European Officials Say Facebook Misled Them About WhatsApp,” in New York Times, p. B3 (2016).

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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