How to format your references using the Review of Scientific Instruments citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Review of Scientific Instruments. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
1 M. Schrope, Nature 410, 616 (2001).
A journal article with 2 authors
1 J. Mannhart and D.G. Schlom, Science 327, 1607 (2010).
A journal article with 3 authors
1 V.N. Manoharan, M.T. Elsesser, and D.J. Pine, Science 301, 483 (2003).
A journal article with 4 or more authors
1 J.P. Celli, I. Rizvi, A.R. Blanden, I. Massodi, M.D. Glidden, B.W. Pogue, and T. Hasan, Sci. Rep. 4, 3751 (2014).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1 J.J. Shynk, Mathematical Foundations for Linear Circuits and Systems in Engineering (John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ, 2016).
An edited book
1 P. Brusov, Modern Corporate Finance, Investments and Taxation (Springer International Publishing, Cham, 2015).
A chapter in an edited book
1 Y. Rosenwaks, G. Elias, E. Strassbourg, A. Schwarzman, and A. Boag, in Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy: Measuring and Compensating Electrostatic Forces, edited by S. Sadewasser and T. Glatzel (Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2012), pp. 45–67.

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 Review of Scientific Instruments.

Blog post
1 E. Andrew, IFLScience (2015).


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
1 Government Accountability Office, Space Shuttle: Human Capital Challenges Require Management Attention (U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2000).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1 J. Mayo, Rates and Factors Associated with Child Maltreatment Recurrence for Children from Birth to 5 Years of Age in Ventura County, Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, 2010.

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
1 B. Brantley, New York Times C1 (2017).

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in superscript:

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 titleReview of Scientific Instruments
AbbreviationRev. Sci. Instrum.
ISSN (print)0034-6748
ISSN (online)1089-7623

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