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
A. McLaren, “Art imitates life,” Science 288(5472), 1777 (2000).
A journal article with 2 authors
S. J. Morrison and J. Kimble, “Asymmetric and symmetric stem-cell divisions in development and cancer,” Nature 441(7097), 1068–1074 (2006).
A journal article with 3 authors
J. Mossinger, M. White, and P. Goymer, “Coastal regions,” Nature 504(7478), 35 (2013).
A journal article with 4 or more authors
A. Morello et al., “Single-shot readout of an electron spin in silicon,” Nature 467(7316), 687–691 (2010).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
D. J. Neff and R. C. Moss, The Future of Nonprofits, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ (2011).
An edited book
G. A. Anastassiou and O. Duman, Eds., Advances in Applied Mathematics and Approximation Theory: Contributions from AMAT 2012, Springer, New York, NY (2013).
A chapter in an edited book
R. S. Lawson, “Gamma Camera SPECT,” in Practical SPECT/CT in Nuclear Medicine, D. W. Jones, P. Hogg, and E. Seeram, Eds., pp. 47–75, Springer, London (2013).

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, “Can You Learn to Taste and Smell the Letter B?,” IFLScience, 30 June 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, “Highways and Environment: Transportation Agencies Are Acting to Involve Others in Planning and Environmental Decisions,” GAO-08-512R, 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
L. M. Robinson, “Using Time-Resolved Photoluminescence Spectroscopy to Examine Exciton Dynamics in II-VI Semiconductor Nanostructures,” Doctoral dissertation, University of Cincinnati (2001).

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
B. Sisario, “Drake’s ‘More Life’ Is No. 1 for a 2nd Week,” in New York Times, p. C3 (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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