How to format your references using the Physics Reports citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Physics Reports. 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
C.J. Murphy, Materials science. Nanocubes and nanoboxes, Science. 298 (2002) 2139–2141.
A journal article with 2 authors
C. Goldenberg, I. Goldhirsch, Friction enhances elasticity in granular solids, Nature. 435 (2005) 188–191.
A journal article with 3 authors
T.T. Koskinen, A.D. Aylward, S. Miller, A stability limit for the atmospheres of giant extrasolar planets, Nature. 450 (2007) 845–848.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
R.V.S. Rajala, A. Rajala, A.J. Morris, R.E. Anderson, Phosphoinositides: minor lipids make a major impact on photoreceptor cell functions, Sci. Rep. 4 (2014) 5463.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
P. E. Sutherland, Principles of Electrical Safety, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2014.
An edited book
B.K. Aichernig, C.A. Furia, eds., Tests and Proofs: 10th International Conference, TAP 2016, Held as Part of STAF 2016, Vienna, Austria, July 5-7, 2016, Proceedings, Springer International Publishing, Cham, 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
A. Karakitsiou, Competitive Multilevel Capacity Allocation, in: A. Migdalas, A. Sifaleras, C.K. Georgiadis, J. Papathanasiou, E. Stiakakis (Eds.), Optimization Theory, Decision Making, and Operations Research Applications: Proceedings of the 1st International Symposium and 10th Balkan Conference on Operational Research, Springer, New York, NY, 2013: pp. 71–89.

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 Reports.

Blog post
J. Fang, Mice Who Feel Less Pain Also Live Longer, Burn More Calories, IFLScience. (2014). (accessed October 30, 2018).


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, Transportation Issue Area Plan--Fiscal Years 1998-2000, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1997.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
B. Parajuli, Students’ Motivations towards Volunteerism: A Comparative Study of the United States and Nepal, Doctoral dissertation, University of Louisiana, 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
B. Rothenberg, Serious Knee Injury Fells Mattek-Sands, New York Times. (2017) B9.

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 Reports
AbbreviationPhys. Rep.
ISSN (print)0370-1573
ScopeGeneral Physics and Astronomy

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