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
Atwood G 2008 Engineering. Phase-change materials for electronic memories Science 321 210–1
A journal article with 2 authors
Lee A J and You L 2014 Cell biology. Cells listen to their inner voice Science 343 624–5
A journal article with 3 authors
Tschöp M, Smiley D L and Heiman M L 2000 Ghrelin induces adiposity in rodents Nature 407 908–13
A journal article with 99 or more authors
Ray B, Henaff M, Ma S, Efstathiadis E, Peskin E R, Picone M, Poli T, Aliferis C F and Statnikov A 2014 Information content and analysis methods for multi-modal high-throughput biomedical data Sci. Rep. 4 4411

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Delgrossi L and Zhang T 2012 Vehicle Safety Communications (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)
An edited book
Purchase D 2016 Fungal Applications in Sustainable Environmental Biotechnology (Cham: Springer International Publishing)
A chapter in an edited book
Anderson R and Cervo D 2013 XBees Pro Arduino ed D Cervo (Berkeley, CA: Apress) pp 91–109

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
Hale T 2015 Scientists Explain Exactly What’s Happening To Your Brain And Body Right Before You Die 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 2009 No Child Left Behind Act: Enhancements in the Department of Education’s Review Process Could Improve State Academic Assessments (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
Roberson B N 2013 Motivation towards learning perceived in Socratic seminar versus traditional lecture Doctoral dissertation (Malibu, CA: Pepperdine 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
Graham R 2017 ‘A Second Chance at Choice’ New York Times MM46

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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