How to format your references using the Photonics citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Photonics. 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
Pagel, M. Rise of the Digital Machine. Nature 2008, 452, 699.
A journal article with 2 authors
Boltasseva, A.; Shalaev, V.M. Materials Science. All That Glitters Need Not Be Gold. Science 2015, 347, 1308–1310.
A journal article with 3 authors
Reyes, N.; Ginter, C.; Boudker, O. Transport Mechanism of a Bacterial Homologue of Glutamate Transporters. Nature 2009, 462, 880–885.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Comeau, S.; Edmunds, P.J.; Lantz, C.A.; Carpenter, R.C. Water Flow Modulates the Response of Coral Reef Communities to Ocean Acidification. Sci. Rep. 2014, 4, 6681.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Mattu, A.; Grossman, S.A.; Rosen, P.L. Geriatric Emergencies; John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester, UK, 2016; ISBN 9781118753262.
An edited book
Carbon Nanomaterials as Adsorbents for Environmental and Biological Applications; Bergmann, C.P., Machado, F.M., Eds.; Carbon Nanostructures; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2015; ISBN 9783319188744.
A chapter in an edited book
Flotats, A.; Carrió, I. Myocardial Perfusion Scintigraphy. In Noninvasive Imaging of Myocardial Ischemia; Anagnostopoulos, C.D., Nihoyannopoulos, P., Bax, J.J., Wall, E. van der, Eds.; Springer: London, 2006; pp. 57–77 ISBN 9781846280276.

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 Photonics.

Blog post
Andrew, D. Slippery Seal Successfully Avoids Becoming Great White’s Supper (accessed on 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 Information Technology: Agencies Need to Establish and Implement Incremental Development Policies; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 2014;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Sommer, A. How Experiences Influence and Inform School Principals’ Actions to Further Develop Teachers’ Instructional Practice. Doctoral dissertation, George Washington University: Washington, DC, 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
Barron, J. End of an Era Looms as Waldorf Astoria Prepares to Close for Renovations. New York Times 2017, A20.

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 titlePhotonics
ISSN (online)2304-6732

Other styles