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
H. Kitano, “Systems biology: a brief overview,” Science 295(5560), 1662–1664 (2002).
A journal article with 2 authors
S. Höfling and A. Kavokin, “Solid-state physics: A historic experiment redesigned,” Nature 514(7522), 313–314 (2014).
A journal article with 3 authors
J. Cello, A. V. Paul, and E. Wimmer, “Chemical synthesis of poliovirus cDNA: generation of infectious virus in the absence of natural template,” Science 297(5583), 1016–1018 (2002).
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Y. T. Kwon et al., “An essential role of N-terminal arginylation in cardiovascular development,” Science 297(5578), 96–99 (2002).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
N. P. Lieberman, Process Engineering for a Small Planet, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ (2010).
An edited book
S. K. Lal, Ed., Molecular Biology of the SARS-Coronavirus, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg (2010).
A chapter in an edited book
E. B. Paz et al., “Medieval Machines and Mechanisms,” in A Brief Illustrated History of Machines and Mechanisms, M. Ceccarelli, J. Echávarri Otero, and J. L. Muñoz Sanz, Eds., pp. 65–90, Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht (2010).

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, “A Team Member’s View Of All The Work On Earth It Took To Get New Horizons To Pluto,” IFLScience, 15 July 2015 (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, “Race to the Top: Characteristics of Grantees’ Amended Programs and Education’s Review Process,” GAO-12-228R, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC (2011).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
J. L. Wright, “Shade Tolerance and Physiological Response to Light Regime of the Invasive Species Lonicera maackii (Amur honeysuckle),” Doctoral dissertation, Southern Illinois University (2015).

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
G. Vecsey, “Coaches Come and Go, Except JoePa,” in New York Times, p. B11 (2010).

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

Other styles