How to format your references using the Physics Education citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Physics Education. 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
Godfray H C J 2014 Ecology. Society, where none intrudes Science 343 1213–4
A journal article with 2 authors
Ishizaki K and Noda S 2009 Manipulation of photons at the surface of three-dimensional photonic crystals Nature 460 367–70
A journal article with 3 authors
Ackermann M, Stearns S C and Jenal U 2003 Senescence in a bacterium with asymmetric division Science 300 1920
A journal article with 99 or more authors
Fang Y, Iu C Y Y, Lui C N P, Zou Y, Fung C K M, Li H W, Xi N, Yung K K L and Lai K W C 2014 Investigating dynamic structural and mechanical changes of neuroblastoma cells associated with glutamate-mediated neurodegeneration Sci. Rep. 4 7074

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Gordon A and Hernandez S 2016 The Official (ISC) 2® Guide to the SSCP 2® CBK 2® (Indianapolis, Indiana: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)
An edited book
Chapple D G 2016 New Zealand Lizards (Cham: Springer International Publishing)
A chapter in an edited book
Mazlan D and Abdul Awal A S M 2014 Mechanical Properties of Cement Composites Incorporating Oil Palm Stem Fiber InCIEC 2013: Proceedings of the International Civil and Infrastructure Engineering Conference 2013 ed R Hassan, M Yusoff, Z Ismail, N M Amin and M A Fadzil (Singapore: Springer) pp 51–60

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 Physics Education.

Blog post
Carpineti A 2017 Galaxies Lose A Third Of Their Mass When They Join A Group IFLScience


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 2005 Information Technology Management: Census Bureau Has Implemented Many Key Practices, but Additional Actions Are Needed (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office)

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Hall D 2015 Resistance, reluctance, and revelation: Examining faculty perceptions of online learning options at a Faith-Based university Doctoral dissertation (Malibu, CA: Pepperdine University)

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
Drossman S R, Port E R and Sonnenblick E B 2015 Why the Annual Mammogram Matters New York Times A31

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 titlePhysics Education
AbbreviationPhys. Educ.
ISSN (print)0031-9120
ISSN (online)1361-6552
ScopeGeneral Physics and Astronomy

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