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
M.J. Moore, From birth to death: the complex lives of eukaryotic mRNAs, Science. 309 (2005) 1514–1518.
A journal article with 2 authors
S. Okamoto, A.J. Millis, Electronic reconstruction at an interface between a Mott insulator and a band insulator, Nature. 428 (2004) 630–633.
A journal article with 3 authors
T.W. Schoener, D.A. Spiller, J.B. Losos, Natural restoration of the species-area relation for a lizard after a hurricane, Science. 294 (2001) 1525–1528.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
A.L. Graps, E. Grun, H. Svedhem, H. Kruger, M. Horanyl, A. Heck, S. Lammers, Io as a source of the jovian dust streams, Nature. 405 (2000) 48–50.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
B.A. Cayoun, Mindfulness-integrated CBT for Well-being and Personal Growth, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK, 2015.
An edited book
H. Randell-Moon, R. Tippet, eds., Security, Race, Biopower: Essays on Technology and Corporeality, Palgrave Macmillan UK, London, 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
S. Tibon-Czopp, I.B. Weiner, The Rorschach Inkblot Method: Research, in: I.B. Weiner (Ed.), Rorschach Assessment of Adolescents: Theory, Research, and Practice, Springer, New York, NY, 2016: pp. 65–95.

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
T. Hale, Could Brain Scans and AI Reveal The Mindset Of A Suspected Criminal?, IFLScience. (2017).


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, Education and Employment Issue Area: Active Assignments, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1996.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
D. Tang, Event detection in sensor networks, Doctoral dissertation, George Washington University, 2009.

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
I. Kershner, B. Hubbard, Hezbollah Is Using U.S.-Made Armor in Syria, Israel Says, New York Times. (2016) A14.

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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