How to format your references using the Optics Express citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Optics Express. 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
D. Fischer, "Planetary science: early start for rocky planets," Nature 486(7403), 331–332 (2012).
A journal article with 2 authors
S. L. Rauch and W. A. Carlezon Jr, "Neuroscience. Illuminating the neural circuitry of compulsive behaviors," Science 340(6137), 1174–1175 (2013).
A journal article with 3 authors
J. Zhao, S. Murray, and J. J. Lipuma, "Modeling the impact of antibiotic exposure on human microbiota," Sci. Rep. 4, 4345 (2014).
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Y. Qiu, W. Cai, X. Guo, and B. Ng, "The asymmetric influence of the positive and negative IOD events on China’s rainfall," Sci. Rep. 4, 4943 (2014).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
G. H. Duckert, Practical Enterprise Risk Management (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2010).
An edited book
E. R. Rodrigues, Applications of Discrete-Time Markov Chains and Poisson Processes to Air Pollution Modeling and Studies, SpringerBriefs in Mathematics (Springer, 2013).
A chapter in an edited book
C. Doss, "If Women Hold Up Half the Sky, How Much of the World’s Food Do They Produce?," in Gender in Agriculture: Closing the Knowledge Gap, A. R. Quisumbing, R. Meinzen-Dick, T. L. Raney, A. Croppenstedt, J. A. Behrman, and A. Peterman, eds. (Springer Netherlands, 2014), pp. 69–88.

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 Optics Express.

Blog post
E. Andrew, "Abrupt Climate Warming, Not Cold Snaps, Kicked Off Megafauna Extinction: Study,"


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, National Airspace System: Experts’ Views on Improving the U.S. Air Traffic Control Modernization Program (U.S. Government Printing Office, 2005).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
M. T. Scharf, "Comparing Student Cumulative Course Grades, Attrition, and Satisfaction in Traditional and Virtual Classroom Environments," Doctoral dissertation, Northcentral 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
B. Detrick, "Where Nobody Knows Your Name," New York Times (September 6, 2017).

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 titleOptics Express
ISSN (online)1094-4087

Other styles