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 J. Butterworth, “Particle physics: Beyond the Higgs,” Nature 488(7413), 581–582 (2012).
A journal article with 2 authors
1 J.P. Donnelly, and J.D. Woodruff, “Intense hurricane activity over the past 5,000 years controlled by El Niño and the West African monsoon,” Nature 447(7143), 465–468 (2007).
A journal article with 3 authors
1 S.B. Gauld, J.M. Dal Porto, and J.C. Cambier, “B cell antigen receptor signaling: roles in cell development and disease,” Science 296(5573), 1641–1642 (2002).
A journal article with 4 or more authors
1 R. Ursin, T. Jennewein, M. Aspelmeyer, R. Kaltenbaek, M. Lindenthal, P. Walther, and A. Zeilinger, “Communications: quantum teleportation across the Danube,” Nature 430(7002), 849 (2004).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1 K. Gadd, TRIZ for Engineers: Enabling Inventive Problem Solving (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK, 2011).
An edited book
1 Y. Alber, Nonlinear Ill-Posed Problems of Monotone Type (Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, 2006).
A chapter in an edited book
1 K.L. Pudenz, in Unconventional Computation and Natural Computation: 14th International Conference, UCNC 2015, Auckland, New Zealand, August 30 -- September 3, 2015, Proceedings, edited by C.S. Calude and M.J. Dinneen (Springer International Publishing, Cham, 2015), pp. 66–70.

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. Fang, “Is There a Parallel Universe That’s Moving Backwards in Time?,” IFLScience, (2014).


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, Selected Literature on Cost Accounting and Cost Control for Automatic Data Processing (U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1976).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1 A. Andrews, Yoga as Mental Health Treatment for Cancer Survivors: A Grant Proposal, Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, 2013.

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 S. Hollander, “Jersey City Show Features a Twist,” New York Times, 89 (2002).

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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