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
Williams E 2011 Environmental effects of information and communications technologies Nature 479 354–8
A journal article with 2 authors
Nielsen T A and Stenstrom P 2005 What are the memory sources of dreaming? Nature 437 1286–9
A journal article with 3 authors
Schreiber R D, Old L J and Smyth M J 2011 Cancer immunoediting: integrating immunity’s roles in cancer suppression and promotion Science 331 1565–70
A journal article with 99 or more authors
Phizicky E, Bastiaens P I H, Zhu H, Snyder M and Fields S 2003 Protein analysis on a proteomic scale Nature 422 208–15

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hallberg M C 2008 Economic Trends in U.S. Agriculture and Food Systems Since World War II (Ames, Iowa, USA: Iowa State University Press)
An edited book
Nanz S 2011 The Future of Software Engineering (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer)
A chapter in an edited book
Al-Baali A G A-G and Farid M M 2006 Thermal Sterilization Of Food In Cans Sterilization Of Food In Retort Pouches Food Engineering Series ed M M Farid (Boston, MA: Springer US) pp 45–92

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 2014 Scientists Create Most Powerful Acoustic Tractor Beam To Date 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 2012 Nanotechnology: Improved Performance Information Needed for Environmental, Health, and Safety Research (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
Hartl S D 2012 The role of culture in managing diversity: How culturally based heuristics differ in minority and non-minority managerial decision making Doctoral dissertation (Minneapolis, MN: Capella 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
Van Gelder S K C by L 2005 Arts, Briefly; Can a Saint Wear Tights? New York Times E2

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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