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
K. Swing, "Day of reckoning for Ecuador’s biodiversity," Nature 469(7330), 267 (2011).
A journal article with 2 authors
M. M. Desai and A. M. Walczak, "Microbiology. Flexible gene pools," Science 348(6238), 977–978 (2015).
A journal article with 3 authors
J. B. Runyon, M. C. Mescher, and C. M. De Moraes, "Volatile chemical cues guide host location and host selection by parasitic plants," Science 313(5795), 1964–1967 (2006).
A journal article with 4 or more authors
R. Krupke, F. Hennrich, H. v. Löhneysen, and M. M. Kappes, "Separation of metallic from semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes," Science 301(5631), 344–347 (2003).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
N. Recho, Fracture Mechanics and Crack Growth (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2012).
An edited book
D. R. Poirier, Transport Phenomena in Materials Processing (Springer International Publishing, 2016).
A chapter in an edited book
W. Patton and M. McMahon, "Comparison of the Current Theories," in Career Development and Systems Theory: Connecting Theory and Practice, M. McMahon, ed. (SensePublishers, 2014), pp. 121–134.

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, "Polar Bears Unlikely To Compensate For Ice Loss In Summer,"


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 Congestion: Intelligent Transportation Systems’ Promise for Managing Congestion Falls Short, and DOT Could Better Facilitate Their Strategic Use (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. G. Pezzolesi, "Novel Mechanisms of PTEN Dysfunction in PTEN Hamartoma Tumor Syndromes," Doctoral dissertation, Ohio State University (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
J. A. Meyer and L. R. Meyer, "Abolish Parole," New York Times (October 28, 2007).

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