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
Kaufman F 2012 Futures market: Wall Street’s thirst for water Nature 490 469–71
A journal article with 2 authors
Mariani F V and Martin G R 2003 Deciphering skeletal patterning: clues from the limb Nature 423 319–25
A journal article with 3 authors
Grima J N, Attard D and Gatt R 2011 Materials science. Unusual thermoelastic properties of methanol monohydrate Science 331 687–8
A journal article with 99 or more authors
Cole M T, Teo K B K, Groening O, Gangloff L, Legagneux P and Milne W I 2014 Deterministic cold cathode electron emission from carbon nanofibre arrays Sci. Rep. 4 4840

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Mack I 2014 Energy Trading and Risk Management (Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd)
An edited book
Kurian M and McCarney P 2010 Peri-urban Water and Sanitation Services: Policy, Planning and Method (Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands)
A chapter in an edited book
Yao X 2012 Unpacking and Understanding Evolutionary Algorithms Advances in Computational Intelligence: IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence, WCCI 2012, Brisbane, Australia, June 10-15, 2012. Plenary/Invited Lectures Lecture Notes in Computer Science ed J Liu, C Alippi, B Bouchon-Meunier, G W Greenwood and H A Abbass (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer) pp 60–76

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
Bedell-Pearce H 2017 Meet The Newborn Sengis Who Are More Like Elephants Than Shrews 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 1991 NASA Personnel: Shortages of Scientists and Engineers Due to Retirements Unlikely in the 1990s (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
Lu W-Y 2012 The performance practice of Buddhist baiqi in contemporary Taiwan Doctoral dissertation (College Park, MD: University of Maryland, College Park)

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 2001 Survivors of the Winds of Change New York Times 143

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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