How to format your references using the Physics of Plasmas citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Physics of Plasmas. 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
1 N.J. Risch, Nature 405, 847 (2000).
A journal article with 2 authors
1 J.R. Stewart and C.B. Stringer, Science 335, 1317 (2012).
A journal article with 3 authors
1 J.H. Morais-Cabral, Y. Zhou, and R. MacKinnon, Nature 414, 37 (2001).
A journal article with 4 or more authors
1 D.D. Chadee, P. Kittayapong, A.C. Morrison, and W.J. Tabachnick, Science 316, 1703 (2007).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1 C. Waine, Obesity and Weight Management in Primary Care (Blackwell Science Ltd, Oxford, UK, 2008).
An edited book
1 A. Haber and N. Shepherd, editors , After Ethics: Ancestral Voices and Post-Disciplinary Worlds in Archaeology (Springer, New York, NY, 2015).
A chapter in an edited book
1 R. Ahlswede, A. Ahlswede, I. Althöfer, C. Deppe, and U. Tamm, in Transmitting and Gaining Data: Rudolf Ahlswede’s Lectures on Information Theory 2, edited by A. Ahlswede, I. Althöfer, C. Deppe, and U. Tamm (Springer International Publishing, Cham, 2015), pp. 269–297.

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 of Plasmas.

Blog post
1 A. Carpineti, 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
1 Government Accountability Office, Special Education: Federal Actions Can Assist States in Improving Postsecondary Outcomes for Youth (U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2003).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1 S.E. Gillespie, Landscapes in Flux, Doctoral dissertation, Southern Illinois University, 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
1 J. Branch, New York Times SP7 (2016).

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in superscript:

This sentence cites one reference 1.
This sentence cites two references 1,1.
This sentence cites four references 1,1,1,1.

About the journal

Full journal titlePhysics of Plasmas
AbbreviationPhys. Plasmas
ISSN (print)1070-664X
ISSN (online)1089-7674
ScopeCondensed Matter Physics

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