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. Graber, Aetiology: The path to disease, Nature. 480 (2011) S54-5.
A journal article with 2 authors
D.E. Alsdorf, D.P. Lettenmaier, Geophysics. Tracking fresh water from space, Science. 301 (2003) 1491–1494.
A journal article with 3 authors
W.A. Nelson, O.N. Bjørnstad, T. Yamanaka, Recurrent insect outbreaks caused by temperature-driven changes in system stability, Science. 341 (2013) 796–799.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
J. Jiang, L. Ou-Yang, L. Zhu, J. Zou, H. Tang, Novel one-pot fabrication of lab-on-a-bubble@Ag substrate without coupling-agent for surface enhanced Raman scattering, Sci. Rep. 4 (2014) 3942.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
J. Bakker, R.J. Clarke, Wine Flavour Chemistry, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK, 2011.
An edited book
M. Peleg, N. Lavrač, C. Combi, eds., Artificial Intelligence in Medicine: 13th Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, AIME 2011, Bled, Slovenia, July 2-6, 2011. Proceedings, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2011.
A chapter in an edited book
R. Sakhravi, M.T. Omran, B.J. Oommen, On the Existence and Heuristic Computation of the Solution for the Commons Game, in: N.T. Nguyen (Ed.), Transactions on Computational Collective Intelligence XIV, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2014: pp. 71–99.

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. Davis, April Smashes Temperature Records, Putting 2016 On Track For Hottest Year, IFLScience. (2016). (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, [Comments on DOD Data Center Consolidation Plan], U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1994.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
W.R. Joseph, Physical Characterization of Vernix Caseosa: Implications for Biological Function, Doctoral dissertation, University of Cincinnati, 2002.

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. Poniewozik, Chatter, in Hopes of Preventing Splatter, New York Times. (2017) C1.

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

Other styles