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
Berkman P A 2009 International spaces promote peace Nature 462 412–3
A journal article with 2 authors
Sutton P J and Kusmartsev F V 2013 Gravitational vortices and clump formation in Saturn’s F ring during an encounter with Prometheus Sci. Rep. 3 1276
A journal article with 3 authors
Ito T, Woloszyn M and Mazloff M 2010 Anthropogenic carbon dioxide transport in the Southern Ocean driven by Ekman flow Nature 463 80–3
A journal article with 99 or more authors
Ugurlar D, Howes S C, de Kreuk B-J, Koning R I, de Jong R N, Beurskens F J, Schuurman J, Koster A J, Sharp T H, Parren P W H I and Gros P 2018 Structures of C1-IgG1 provide insights into how danger pattern recognition activates complement Science 359 794–7

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Huang Q, Jing S, Yi J and Zhen W 2014 Innovative Testing and Measurement Solutions for Smart Grid (Singapore: John Wiley & Sons, Singapore Pte. Ltd)
An edited book
Abut H, Hansen J H L and Takeda K 2007 Advances for In-Vehicle and Mobile Systems: Challenges for International Standards (Boston, MA: Springer US)
A chapter in an edited book
van Dijk E, de Cremer D, Mulder L B and Stouten J 2008 How Do We React to Feedback in Social Dilemmas? New Issues and Paradigms in Research on Social Dilemmas ed A Biel, D Eek, T Gärling and M Gustafsson (Boston, MA: Springer US) pp 43–56

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
Hamilton K 2016 Scientist At Work: Revealing The Secret Lives Of Urban Rats 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 1971 Automatic Data Processing Policies, Procedures, and Practices at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, California (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
Turney J J 2014 Police supervisory attributes that influence attitude towards Critical Incident Stress Management programs 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
Marx L 2012 Jenna Miranda and Mitch Meyers New York Times ST10

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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