How to format your references using the Physical Review B citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Physical Review B. 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
1 C.J. McBain, “Neuroscience. Decoding the neuronal Tower of Babel,” Science 338(6106), 482–483 (2012).
A journal article with 2 authors
1 A.K. Cheetham, and C.N.R. Rao, “Materials science. There’s room in the middle,” Science 318(5847), 58–59 (2007).
A journal article with 3 authors
1 N. Asaadi, N.M. Ribe, and F. Sobouti, “Inferring nonlinear mantle rheology from the shape of the Hawaiian swell,” Nature 473(7348), 501–504 (2011).
A journal article with 4 or more authors
1 J.T. Wolfe, H. Wang, J. Howard, J.C. Garrison, and P.Q. Barrett, “T-type calcium channel regulation by specific G-protein betagamma subunits,” Nature 424(6945), 209–213 (2003).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1 R. Geier, V. Angelmaier, C.-A. Graubner, and J. Kohoutek, Integrale Brücken (Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany, 2017).
An edited book
1 S.G. Kang, Multi-Agent Based Beam Search for Real-Time Production Scheduling and Control: Method, Software and Industrial Application (Springer, London, 2013).
A chapter in an edited book
1 J. Chalopin, E. Godard, and Y. Métivier, in Distributed Computing: 22nd International Symposium, DISC 2008, Arcachon, France, September 22-24, 2008. Proceedings, edited by G. Taubenfeld (Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2008), pp. 47–62.

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 Physical Review B.

Blog post
1 D. Andrew, “Is It True Only Half Your Friends Actually Like You?,” IFLScience, (2016).


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
1 Government Accountability Office, Federal Transit Administration: Bus Rapid Transit Offers Communities a Flexible Mass Transit Option (U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2003).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1 A. Anderson, Scribblins, Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, 2010.

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
1 J. Surico, “A Jail Officer Is Fatally Shot In Brooklyn,” New York Times, A22 (2016).

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in superscript:

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 titlePhysical Review B
AbbreviationPhys. Rev. B Condens. Matter Mater. Phys.
ISSN (print)1098-0121
ISSN (online)1550-235x
ScopeElectronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
Condensed Matter Physics

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