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
K. J. Tracey, The Inflammatory Reflex, Nature 420, 853 (2002).
A journal article with 2 authors
T. Bliss and R. Schoepfer, Neuroscience. Controlling the Ups and Downs of Synaptic Strength, Science 304, 973 (2004).
A journal article with 3 authors
T. H. Clutton-Brock, T. Coulson, and J. M. Milner, Red Deer Stocks in the Highlands of Scotland, Nature 429, 261 (2004).
A journal article with 4 or more authors
S. M. Elbashir, J. Harborth, W. Lendeckel, A. Yalcin, K. Weber, and T. Tuschl, Duplexes of 21-Nucleotide RNAs Mediate RNA Interference in Cultured Mammalian Cells, Nature 411, 494 (2001).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
M. J. Kirwan, Handbook of Paper and Paperboard Packaging Technology (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford, 2013).
An edited book
Y. Li, Interconnected Power Systems: Wide-Area Dynamic Monitoring and Control Applications, 1st ed. 2016 (Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2016).
A chapter in an edited book
R. Bruni, A. Corradini, F. Gadducci, A. Lluch Lafuente, and U. Montanari, On GS-Monoidal Theories for Graphs with Nesting, in Graph Transformations and Model-Driven Engineering: Essays Dedicated to Manfred Nagl on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday, edited by G. Engels, C. Lewerentz, W. Schäfer, A. Schürr, and B. Westfechtel (Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2010), pp. 59–86.

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
T. Hale, A Lake In Australia Has Turned A Fetching Shade Of Hot Pink, (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, The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare’s Professional Standards Review Organization Program, No. 109829, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1979.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
E. Ghafoori, Wavelet Transform and Neural Network, Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, 2014.

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. Saslow, Bond Issue Is Approved for Sachem Schools, New York Times LI2 (2008).

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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