Author Guidelines
Maximum number of pages for submission is 5


As part of the production system for Journal of Physics: Conference Series, online versions of all reference lists will, wherever possible, be linked electronically using CrossRef. Consequently, it is vitally important for all the references to be accurate and to be carefully formatted using the guidelines below, enabling your paper to be available online with the minimum of delay.

A complete reference should provide the reader with enough information to locate the article concerned, whether published in print or electronic form, and should, depending on the type of reference, consist of:

  • name(s) and initials;
  • date published;
  • title of journal, book or other publication;
  • titles of journal articles may also be included (optional);
  • volume number;
  • editors, if any;
  • town of publication and publisher in parentheses for books;
  • the page numbers.

For Journal of Physics: Conference Series, please use the Vancouver numerical system where references are numbered sequentially throughout the text. The numbers occur within square brackets, like this [2], and one number can be used to designate several references. The reference list gives the references in numerical, not alphabetical, order.

Points to note

  • There should be a 5 mm gap between the reference number (e.g., ‘[8]’) and the start of the reference text. Second and subsequent lines of individual references should be indented by 5 mm. For example:

[1] Aderhold J, Davydov V Yu, Fedler F, Klausing H, Mistele D, Rotter T, Semchinova O, Stemmer J and Graul J 2001 J. Cryst. Growth 222 701

  • the authors should be in the form surname (with only the first letter capitalized) followed by the initials with no periods after the initials. Authors should be separated by a comma except for the last two which should be separated by ‘and’ with no comma preceding it.
  • The article title (if given) should be in lower case letters, except for an initial capital, and should follow the date.
  • The journal title is in italic and is abbreviated. If a journal has several parts denoted by different letters the part letter should be inserted after the journal in Roman type, e.g. Phys. Rev. A.
  • Both the initial and final page numbers should be given where possible. The final page number should be in the shortest possible form and separated from the initial page number by an en rule ‘– ‘, e.g. 1203–14, i.e. the numbers ‘12’ are not repeated.
  • References to printed journal articles. A normal reference to a journal article contains three changes of font (see table 6).

Table 6. Font styles for a reference to a journal article.

Authors, date
Roman type
Article title (optional)
Roman type
Journal title
Italic type
Volume number
Bold type
Page numbers
Roman type 

Here are some examples taken from published papers:

[1] Strite S and Morkoc H 1992 J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 10 1237 [2] Nakamura S, Senoh M, Nagahama S, Iwase N, Yamada T,
Matsushita T, Kiyoku H and Sugimoto Y 1996 Japan. J. Appl. Phys. 35 L74

1.1.1. References to preprints. For preprints there are two distinct cases:
  • Where the article has been published in a journal and the preprint is supplementary reference information. In this case it should be presented as:
[1] Kunze K 2003 T-duality and Penrose limits of spatially homogeneous and inhomogeneous cosmologies Phys. Rev. D 68 063517 (Preprint gr-qc/0303038)

  • Where the only reference available is the preprint. In this case it should be presented as
[1] Milson R, Coley A, Pravda V and Pravdova A 2004 Alignment and algebraically special tensors Preprint gr-qc/0401010

1.1.2. References to electronic-only journals. In general article numbers are given, and no page ranges, as most electronic-only journals start each article on page 1.
  • For SISSA journals the volume is divided into monthly issues and these form part of the article number
[1] Horowitz G T and Maldacena J 2004 The black hole final state J. High Energy Phys. JHEP02(2004)008

1.1.3. References to books, conference proceedings and reports. References to books, proceedings and reports are similar to journal references, but have only two changes of font (see table 7).

Table 7. Font styles for references to books, conference proceedings and reports.

Authors, Date
Roman type
Book title
Italic type
Roman type
Place (city, town etc) of publication, publisher
Roman type
Volume, page number
Roman type

Points to note

  • Book titles are in italic and should be spelt out in full with initial capital letters for all except minor words. Words such as Proceedings, Symposium, International, Conference, Second, etc. should be abbreviated to Proc., Symp., Int., Conf., 2nd, respectively, but the rest of the title should be given in full, followed by the date of the conference and the town or city where the conference was held. For Laboratory Reports the Laboratory should be spelt out wherever possible, e.g. Argonne National Laboratory Report.
  • The volume number, for example vol 2, should be followed by the editors, in a form such as ‘ed A J Smith and P R Jones’. Use et al if there are more than two editors. Next comes the town of publication and publisher, within brackets and separated by a colon, and finally the page numbers preceded by p if only one number is given or pp if both the initial and final numbers are given.

Examples taken from published papers:
[1] Sze S M 1969 Physics of Semiconductor Devices (New York: Wiley–Interscience)
[2] Dorman L I 1975 Variations of Galactic Cosmic Rays (Moscow: Moscow State University Press) p 103
[3] Caplar R and Kulisic P 1973 Proc. Int. Conf. on Nuclear Physics (Munich) vol 1 (Amsterdam: North-Holland/American Elsevier) p 517
[4] Szytula A and Leciejewicz J 1989 Handbook on the Physics and Chemistry of Rare Earths vol 12, ed K A Gschneidner Jr and L Erwin (Amsterdam: Elsevier) p 133
[5] Kuhn T 1998 Density matrix theory of coherent ultrafast dynamics Theory of Transport Properties of Semiconductor Nanostructures (Electronic Materials vol 4) ed E Schöll (London: Chapman and Hall) chapter 6 pp 173–214

1.2. Reference lists

Up to ten authors may be given in a particular reference; where there are more than ten only the first should be given followed by et al. Abbreviations of the names of periodicals used by IOP Publishing are usually the same as those given in British Standard BS 4148: 1985. If an author is unsure of an abbreviation it is best to leave the title in full. The terms loc. cit. and ibid should not be used.

Unpublished conferences and reports should generally not be included in the reference list and articles in the course of publication should be entered only if the journal of publication is known. A thesis submitted for a higher degree may be included in the reference list if it has not been superseded by a published paper and is available through a library; sufficient information should be given for it to be traced readily.