Phys Rev Lett Bibliography Style Citation

April 2012

References in Physical Review and Physical Review Letters

Authors have an obligation to include a set of references that communicates the precedents, sources, and context of the reported work. References should be as complete as possible and should be drawn from peer-reviewed journals as well as e-print archives. All references should be cited in the body of the text and not in the abstract. References in the abstract must be written out in full within square brackets and never numbered. In the body of the text, references should be numbered consecutively in order of first appearance. The onus is upon authors to update references throughout the review and publication process. The completeness and accuracy of the data contained in the references are especially important.

In preparing the list of references for papers submitted to the Physical Review journals, authors should be guided by any recent publication in the relevant Physical Review journal and the Physical Review Style and Notation Guide. Some of the more common reference styles are indicated below.

et al. The use of et al. is discouraged in the reference section. The names of all authors should be given in the references. If the number of authors exceeds ten, then the first ten author names may be listed and then et al. An exception should be made for alphabetic author lists and collaborations. In these cases only the name of the first author needs to precede the et al., and for the collaborations the collaboration name should then follow.

Footnotes (except for PRB) Byline footnotes are placed under a single rule at the bottom of the first page. These should be set to the author names or to the byline address. Email addresses or web pages are encouraged. All information concerning research support should appear in the acknowledgments. Footnotes, for subsidiary remarks in the text, should be numbered consecutively throughout the paper, and placed at the bottoms of the manuscript pages on which they are cited. Authors who do not wish to use this option should use the PRB style described below.

(For PRB) Byline footnotes are listed at the top of the reference section and not at the bottom of the first page, and should be limited to those necessary for location of the author. Footnotes, for subsidiary remarks in the text, should be numbered references or incorporated directly in the text.

Journal References Authors, journal name, volume number, page or article number, and year of publication. Titles and ranges of page numbers are generally not printed. Separate multiple references by a semicolon, and ibid. may be used if the same source occurs several times in the same reference.

Conference Proceedings Authors, exact title, editors, publisher, city of publication and year; the last three items should be in parentheses. Edition, volume and page number should follow the parenthesis, if provided.

(to be published) If it is known that a paper has been accepted for publication by a particular journal or Conference Proceedings, it may be cited as above with the phrase "(to be published)" at the end.

Books Authors, exact title, editors (if any), publisher, city of publication, and year; the last three items should be in parentheses. Edition, volume and page number should follow the parenthesis, if provided. References to books in the process of being published should include "(in press)."

Reports Authors, institution, report number, and year. Include the title of the report, if provided, especially if a report number is not available.

Theses Author, degree, institution, and year. Do not add "(unpublished)" to a thesis reference.

E-print References These should be styled as, for example, "authors, arXiv:1204.1234." Do not insert the words "e-print" or "unpublished" or a year. If journal information is provided and the paper has been accepted for publication then add "[journal name (to be published)]" to the end.

(private communications) The information cited is not available in either published or report form and acknowledges the receipt of information from another source, "authors (private communication)."

(unpublished) Journal references not yet accepted for publication will be listed as "(unpublished)." Manuscripts in preparation or to be submitted, lectures, or invited talks will simply be given as "authors (unpublished)."

How to use Bibtex

This document shows how to use Bibtex to create a bibliography in a LaTeX document by providing a simple example.

To use bibtex you must

  1. Create a database () file that describes the articles that you want to reference.
  2. Specify the style and location of the bibliography in your LaTeX document.
  3. Run latex and bibtex.

Why should you use Bibtex?

  • Let the style file worry about formatting the bibliography.
  • Avoid retyping the same references for your (or your friends) next paper (even if it is for a journal with a completely difference bibliography style).
  • It is more efficient.
  • It is not hard!

Example Bibliography Database

Suppose we want to refer to two papers by Klitzing. Save the following as

@STRING(PRL="Phys. Rev. Lett.")@STRING(RMP="Rev. Mod. Phys.")@ARTICLE{klitzing:qhe,   AUTHOR="K. von Klitzing and G. Dorda and M. Pepper",   TITLE="New method for high accuracy determination of fine structure            constant based on quantised hall resistance",   JOURNAL=PRL,   VOLUME=45,   PAGES=494,   YEAR=1980}@ARTICLE{klitzing:nobel,   AUTHOR="Klaus von Klitzing",   TITLE="The Quantised Hall Effect",   JOURNAL=RMP,   VOLUME=58,   PAGES=519,   YEAR=1986}

Notice that each article has a key (like ) which is used to cite the article.

Example Latex file

Now the text of the paper goes in the file

\documentstyle{article}\begin{document}\bibliographystyle{prsty} % Choose Phys. Rev. style for bibliography\section{Introduction}The discovery of the Quantised Hall Effect was made byKlitzing~\cite{klitzing:qhe} for which he was awarded the 1985 Nobelprize for physics~\cite{klitzing:nobel}.\bibliography{qhe}        % qhe.bib is the name of our database\end{document}
  • Bibliography styles that can be used instead of are , , and . Many others are available on The Net.
  • The before the prevents a line break before the .

Compiling the Example

Now use the following commands

    (Note that as usual in LaTeX you do not need all these repetitions very time and that you only need to run bibtex if the references change).

    Example Output

    The result looks like this in form. An approximation follows...

    1. Introduction

    The discovery of the Quantised Hall Effect was made by Klitzing [1] for which he was awarded the 1985 Nobel prize for physics [2].


    [1] K. von Klitzing, G. Dorde, and M. Pepper, Phys. Rev. Lett. 45. 494 (1980)

    [2] K. von Klitzing, Rev. Mod. Phys 58, 519 (1986).


    Last modified: Fri Mar 11 19:16:59 1994

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