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

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Physical Review D. 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
J. M. Bernhard, Potential Symbionts in Bathyal Foraminifera, Science 299, 861 (2003).
A journal article with 2 authors
Q. Lu and G. Lemke, Homeostatic Regulation of the Immune System by Receptor Tyrosine Kinases of the Tyro 3 Family, Science 293, 306 (2001).
A journal article with 3 authors
P. Sessa, F. Meconi, and S. Han, Double Dissociation of Neural Responses Supporting Perceptual and Cognitive Components of Social Cognition: Evidence from Processing of Others’ Pain, Sci. Rep. 4, 7424 (2014).
A journal article with 4 or more authors
W. Zeng, A. Zeng, H. Liu, M.-S. Shang, and T. Zhou, Uncovering the Information Core in Recommender Systems, Sci. Rep. 4, 6140 (2014).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
M. M. Abid, Spacecraft Sensors (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK, 2006).
An edited book
S. W. Keckler, K. Olukotun, and H. P. Hofstee, editors , Multicore Processors and Systems, 1st ed. (Springer US, Boston, MA, 2009).
A chapter in an edited book
P. A. Prieto, P. A. Prieto, and C. A. S. Hall, Calculating the Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROEI or EROI) for Spain’s Solar Photovoltaic Energy, in Spain’s Photovoltaic Revolution: The Energy Return on Investment, edited by C. A. S. Hall (Springer, New York, NY, 2013), pp. 39–46.

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 D.

Blog post
E. Andrew, Near Earth And Far Away, It’s Been An Exciting Year In Space, (unpublished).


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: Management Improvements Are Essential to VA’s Second Effort to Replace Its Outpatient Scheduling System, No. GAO-10-579, U.S. Government Printing Office, 2010.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
C. L. Norman, Perceptions of Non-Traditional Programs within Missouri School Districts, Doctoral dissertation, Lindenwood University, 2015.

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
J. A. Delreal and J. E. Bromwich, Suspect, an Unmoored Retiree, Kept Quiet and Gambled Often, New York Times A1 (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 D
ISSN (print)1550-7998
ISSN (online)1550-2368
ScopeNuclear and High Energy Physics

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