How to format your references using the Reports on Progress in Physics citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Reports on Progress in Physics. 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
Barinaga M 2000 SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY: Geology Couple Plots a Path to Success Science 289 2027
A journal article with 2 authors
Convey P and Stevens M I 2007 Ecology. Antarctic biodiversity Science 317 1877–8
A journal article with 3 authors
Hayden B Y, Pearson J M and Platt M L 2009 Fictive reward signals in the anterior cingulate cortex Science 324 948–50
A journal article with 99 or more authors
Kang J-E, Lim M M, Bateman R J, Lee J J, Smyth L P, Cirrito J R, Fujiki N, Nishino S and Holtzman D M 2009 Amyloid-beta dynamics are regulated by orexin and the sleep-wake cycle Science 326 1005–7

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Gerardi M H 2010 Troubleshooting the Sequencing Batch Reactor (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)
An edited book
Qu J J, Gao W, Kafatos M, Murphy R E and Salomonson V V 2006 Earth Science Satellite Remote Sensing: Vol. 2: Data, Computational Processing, and Tools (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer)
A chapter in an edited book
Bronshtein I N, Semendyayev K A, Musiol G and Mühlig H 2015 Linear Algebra Handbook of Mathematics ed K A Semendyayev, G Musiol and H Mühlig (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer) pp 269–322

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 Reports on Progress in Physics.

Blog post
Andrew E 2015 How Cancer Abducts Your Immune Cells – and What We Can Do About It IFLScience


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 2001 Airline Competition: Issues Raised by Consolidation Proposals (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office)

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Rees C L 2009 A systems-level investigation into the genetic determinants of childhood-onset schizophrenia Doctoral dissertation (Washington, DC: George Washington University)

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
Crow K 2002 Space With a Day-Glo Past Reincarnated as Apartments New York Times 147

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 titleReports on Progress in Physics
AbbreviationRep. Prog. Phys.
ISSN (print)0034-4885
ISSN (online)1361-6633
ScopeGeneral Physics and Astronomy

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