How to format your references using the Physics Letters A citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Physics Letters A. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
N. Dauphas, The U/Th production ratio and the age of the Milky Way from meteorites and Galactic halo stars, Nature. 435 (2005) 1203–1205.
A journal article with 2 authors
M.H. Wang, F.S. vom Saal, Maternal age and traits in offspring, Nature. 407 (2000) 469–470.
A journal article with 3 authors
B.J. Enquist, J.P. Haskell, B.H. Tiffney, General patterns of taxonomic and biomass partitioning in extant and fossil plant communities, Nature. 419 (2002) 610–613.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
G. Fusco, S.W. Chen, P.T.F. Williamson, R. Cascella, M. Perni, J.A. Jarvis, C. Cecchi, M. Vendruscolo, F. Chiti, N. Cremades, L. Ying, C.M. Dobson, A. De Simone, Structural basis of membrane disruption and cellular toxicity by α-synuclein oligomers, Science. 358 (2017) 1440–1443.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
M. Chaskalson, The Mindful Workplace, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK, 2011.
An edited book
G. Bisciotti, P. Volpi, eds., The Lower Limb Tendinopathies: Etiology, Biology and Treatment, Springer International Publishing, Cham, 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
P. Becchi, German Legal Science: The Crisis of Natural Law Theory, the Historicisms, and “Conceptual Jurisprudence,” in: E. Pattaro, D. Canale, P. Grossi, H. Hofmann, P. Riley (Eds.), A Treatise of Legal Philosophy and General Jurisprudence: Vol. 9: A History of the Philosophy of Law in the Civil Law World, 1600-1900; Vol. 10: The Philosophers’ Philosophy of Law from the Seventeenth Century to Our Days, Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, 2009: pp. 185–224.

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 Letters A.

Blog post
J. Davis, New Frog Sex Position Observed In India, IFLScience. (2016).


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, Traffic Congestion: Activities to Reduce Travel Demand and Air Pollution Are Not Widely Implemented, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1992.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
B.H. Weisblatt, The numinous on Russian soil: A depth psychological interpretation of religious experience in “The Brothers Karamazov,” Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2010.

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. Kelly, THE 1992 CAMPAIGN: The Democrats; Given a Good Lead, Clinton Is No Longer Talking Tough, New York Times. (1992) A20.

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 Letters A
AbbreviationPhys. Lett. A
ISSN (print)0375-9601
ScopeGeneral Physics and Astronomy

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