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. Paytan, Geochemistry. Mountains, Weathering, and Climate, Science 335, 810 (2012).
A journal article with 2 authors
F. Muerdter and A. Stark, Genomics: Hiding in Plain Sight, Nature 512, 374 (2014).
A journal article with 3 authors
J. Linnerooth-Bayer, R. Mechler, and G. Pflug, Refocusing Disaster Aid, Science 309, 1044 (2005).
A journal article with 4 or more authors
A. Klin, D. J. Lin, P. Gorrindo, G. Ramsay, and W. Jones, Two-Year-Olds with Autism Orient to Non-Social Contingencies Rather than Biological Motion, Nature 459, 257 (2009).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
S. Chatterji and P. Hedges, Loan Workouts and Debt for Equity Swaps (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK, 2005).
An edited book
D. Minter, Pro Hibernate 3 (Apress, Berkeley, CA, 2005).
A chapter in an edited book
D. Baskin, I. Sommers, and A. Baskin-Sommers, Methamphetamine Use, Personality Traits, and High-Risk Behaviors, in Crime, HIV and Health: Intersections of Criminal Justice and Public Health Concerns, edited by B. Sanders, Y. F. Thomas, and B. Griffin Deeds (Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, 2013), pp. 95–111.

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
E. Andrew, Venus Encounters The Moon Before Dawn,


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, Space Exploration: Cost, Schedule, and Performance of NASA’s Ulysses Mission to the Sun, No. NSIAD-88-129FS, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1988.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
C. W. Anderson, Breaking Journalism down: Work, Authority, and Networking Local News, 1997–2009, Doctoral dissertation, Columbia University, 2009.

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
L. Robbins and N. T. Rodriguez, Gang Murders in the Suburbs, New York Times MB1 (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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