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.G. Myers Jr, Science 323, 723 (2009).
A journal article with 2 authors
1 R.R. Rykaczewski and J.P. Dunne, Nature 472, E5 (2011).
A journal article with 3 authors
1 S.A. Buckley, K.A. Clark, and R.P. Evershed, Nature 431, 294 (2004).
A journal article with 4 or more authors
1 M.H. Edwards, G.J. Kurras, M. Tolstoy, D.R. Bohnenstiehl, B.J. Coakley, and J.R. Cochran, Nature 409, 808 (2001).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1 N. Chen, Aerothermodynamics of Turbomachinery (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK, 2010).
An edited book
1 M. Farzaneh, editor , Atmospheric Icing of Power Networks, 1st ed. (Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, 2008).
A chapter in an edited book
1 A. Lazazzara and C. Ghiringhelli, in From Information to Smart Society: Environment, Politics and Economics, edited by L. Mola, F. Pennarola, and S. Za (Springer International Publishing, Cham, 2015), pp. 31–47.

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 J. Davis, IFLScience (2017).


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, Social Security Administration: Effective Planning and Management Practices Are Key to Overcoming IT Modernization Challenges (U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2016).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1 E. Gwaduri, A Personal Narrative: Struggles and Experiences of Acculturation as a Pakistani Shia Muslim While Battling Immigration, Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, 2009.

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 J. Schwartz, New York Times D3 (2016).

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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