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
P. Smaglik, "Building Nordic networks," Nature 420(6916 Suppl), A3, A5, A7 (2002).
A journal article with 2 authors
A. Sawa and S. H. Snyder, "Genetics. Two genes link two distinct psychoses," Science 310(5751), 1128–1129 (2005).
A journal article with 3 authors
D. Nesić, Y. Hsu, and C. E. Stebbins, "Assembly and function of a bacterial genotoxin," Nature 429(6990), 429–433 (2004).
A journal article with 4 or more authors
F. Fleetwood, S. Klint, M. Hanze, E. Gunneriusson, F. Y. Frejd, S. Ståhl, and J. Löfblom, "Simultaneous targeting of two ligand-binding sites on VEGFR2 using biparatopic Affibody molecules results in dramatically improved affinity," Sci. Rep. 4, 7518 (2014).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
R. Bock, Handbuch Der Analytisch-Chemischen Aufschlussmethoden (Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, 2005).
An edited book
T. Yoshimoto and T. Yoshimoto, eds., Cytokine Frontiers: Regulation of Immune Responses in Health and Disease (Springer Japan, 2014).
A chapter in an edited book
I. T. Kim, C. Park, S. O. Hwang, and C.-M. Park, "Implementation of Bilinear Pairings over Elliptic Curves with Embedding Degree 24," in Multimedia, Computer Graphics and Broadcasting: International Conference, MulGraB 2011, Held as Part of the Future Generation Information Technology Conference, FGIT 2011, in Conjunction with GDC 2011, Jeju Island, Korea, December 8-10, 2011. Proceedings, Part I, T.-H. Kim, H. Adeli, W. I. Grosky, N. Pissinou, T. K. Shih, E. J. Rothwell, B.-H. Kang, and S.-J. Shin, eds., Communications in Computer and Information Science (Springer, 2011), pp. 37–43.

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, "US Air Force’s Secret Space Plane Continues To Mystify,"


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, Exiting Program Improvement (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1993).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
J. M. Bathon, "Examining the characteristics of school leaders and of local schools where Indiana educational leadership preparation programs place their graduates," Doctoral dissertation, Indiana 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
M. Billard, "Spoil Your Wrist," New York Times (April 22, 2010).

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