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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Physical Review C. 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. Jenkins, Graduate Journal: One of Those Days, Nature 427, 870 (2004).
A journal article with 2 authors
J. Iwahara and G. M. Clore, Detecting Transient Intermediates in Macromolecular Binding by Paramagnetic NMR, Nature 440, 1227 (2006).
A journal article with 3 authors
X. Lin, C. M. Hull, and J. Heitman, Sexual Reproduction between Partners of the Same Mating Type in Cryptococcus Neoformans, Nature 434, 1017 (2005).
A journal article with 4 or more authors
D. Ren, C. C. Labandeira, J. A. Santiago-Blay, A. Rasnitsyn, C. Shih, A. Bashkuev, M. A. V. Logan, C. L. Hotton, and D. Dilcher, A Probable Pollination Mode before Angiosperms: Eurasian, Long-Proboscid Scorpionflies, Science 326, 840 (2009).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
R. S. Snell and M. A. Lemp, Clinical Anatomy of the Eye (Blackwell Science Ltd,., Oxford, UK, 1997).
An edited book
K. E. Nelson, editor , Encyclopedia of Metagenomics: Genes, Genomes and Metagenomes: Basics, Methods, Databases and Tools (Springer US, Boston, MA, 2015).
A chapter in an edited book
W. Strank, The Legacy of IMuse: Interactive Video Game Music in the 1990s, in Music and Game: Perspectives on a Popular Alliance, edited by P. Moormann (Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, 2013), pp. 81–91.

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 C.

Blog post
K. Hamilton, Getting Serious About Funny: Psychologists See Humor As A Character Strength,


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, Critical Infrastructure Protection: Sector-Specific Plans’ Coverage of Key Cyber Security Elements Varies, No. GAO-08-113, U.S. Government Printing Office, 2007.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
M. A. Lucas, Bridging the Gap Between Schools and Families Through Teacher Home Visits, Doctoral dissertation, Lindenwood University, 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
M. Corkery, The Graduates of Walmart Academy, New York Times A2 (2017).

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 titlePhysical Review C
AbbreviationPhys. Rev. C Nucl. Phys.
ISSN (print)0556-2813
ISSN (online)1089-490X
ScopeNuclear and High Energy Physics

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