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
A. Petherick, Chagas disease in the Chaco, Nature. 465 (2010) S18-20.
A journal article with 2 authors
A.K. Rai, R. Cook-Deegan, Genetics. Moving beyond “isolated” gene patents, Science. 341 (2013) 137–138.
A journal article with 3 authors
F. Sleutels, R. Zwart, D.P. Barlow, The non-coding Air RNA is required for silencing autosomal imprinted genes, Nature. 415 (2002) 810–813.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
B. Budowle, S.E. Schutzer, A. Einseln, L.C. Kelley, A.C. Walsh, J.A.L. Smith, B.L. Marrone, J. Robertson, J. Campos, Public health. Building microbial forensics as a response to bioterrorism, Science. 301 (2003) 1852–1853.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
D.A. Wilson, Interpreting Land Records, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2014.
An edited book
S.F. Tang, L. Logonnathan, eds., Taylor’s 7th Teaching and Learning Conference 2014 Proceedings: Holistic Education: Enacting Change, Springer, Singapore, 2015.
A chapter in an edited book
V. Weinstein, R. Schwartz, I. Grossman, B. Zeskind, J.M. Nicholas, Glatiramoids, in: D.J.A. Crommelin, J.S.B. de Vlieger (Eds.), Non-Biological Complex Drugs: The Science and the Regulatory Landscape, Springer International Publishing, Cham, 2015: pp. 107–148.

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
E. Andrew, The Pope As Messenger: Making Climate Change A Moral Issue, IFLScience. (2015).


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, Aviation Security: Corrective Actions Underway, but Better Inspection Guidance Still Needed, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1988.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
D. Oparnica, The role of nurses in health care reform: A project report, Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, 2013.

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
J. Gorman, Sciencetake: An Effort to Put a Blue, Whirling Vortex of Fire to Good Use, New York Times. (2016) D2.

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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