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
A. Navrotsky, "Nuclear Materials. Taking the measure of molten uranium oxide," Science 346(6212), 916–917 (2014).
A journal article with 2 authors
N. Mesgarani and E. F. Chang, "Selective cortical representation of attended speaker in multi-talker speech perception," Nature 485(7397), 233–236 (2012).
A journal article with 3 authors
I. Kurth, R. E. Georgescu, and M. E. O’Donnell, "A solution to release twisted DNA during chromosome replication by coupled DNA polymerases," Nature 496(7443), 119–122 (2013).
A journal article with 4 or more authors
L. R. Devireddy, J. G. Teodoro, F. A. Richard, and M. R. Green, "Induction of apoptosis by a secreted lipocalin that is transcriptionally regulated by IL-3 deprivation," Science 293(5531), 829–834 (2001).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
D. Stidwill and R. Fletcher, Normal Binocular Vision (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., 2010).
An edited book
I. Diwan and A. Galal, eds., The Middle East Economies in Times of Transition, International Economic Association Series (Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2016).
A chapter in an edited book
G. Ning and Y. Zhou, "An Improved Differential Evolution Algorithm for Solving Absolute Value Equations," in High Performance Computing and Applications: Third International Conference, HPCA 2015, Shanghai, China, July 26-30, 2015, Revised Selected Papers, J. Xie, Z. Chen, C. C. Douglas, W. Zhang, and Y. Chen, eds., Lecture Notes in Computer Science (Springer International Publishing, 2016), pp. 38–47.

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
J. Fang, "Tiny Vibrating Hairs Help Bees Sense Electrical Signals Sent From Flowers,"


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, Highway Trust Fund: DOT Has Opportunities to Improve Tracking and Reporting of Highway Spending (U.S. Government Printing Office, 2014).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
R. C. Thom, "Digital Martyrs and Shadowless Assailants: The Projective Shadow’s Emergence in Cyberspace," Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute (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
J. Fallows, "Watch Your Rhetoric," New York Times (September 5, 2016).

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

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