AIP Style Manual References

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The American Institute of Physics (AIP) has a Style Manual (4th Edition, 1990) which specifies how to format text for submission to an AIP journal (such as Physics Today or Physical Review). A style manual for Physical Review is available online at
Below is a summary of how to quote sources using the AIP format.

  • A reference to a source or other supplementary information is given by a superscript (such as 1,2,3).
  • References are numbered by order of appearance in the text.
  • All of the references/supplementary information is included at the end of the document.
  • Authors are indicated by their initials followed by their last name.
  • If a paper has more than 4 authors, quote only the first author's name followed by et al.
  • Never include a reference number adjacent to an equation or symbol. This can lead to confusion that the number indicates a power rather than a reference.
  • Abbreviate the title of journals and eliminate words like "of" or "the." Some of the more common abbreviations are: American (Am.), Journal (J.), Letters (Lett.), Physics (Phys.), Review (Rev.), Scientific or Science (Sci.). This means "American Journal of Physics" would be abbreviated "Am. J. Phys." and "Physical Review Letters" would be abbreviated "Phys. Rev. Lett."

A sample section of a paper, including references, is shown below:

The first experimental search of muonium-antimuonium conversion, in 1968, placed a 95% confidence upper limit1 of G<5800GF on the four-fermion coupling constant.2 A number of experiments 3,4 have placed more stringent limits on this conversion. The first run of the current TRIUMF experiment published the limit5 G<0.88GF (90% confidence). A preliminary upper limit of G<0.5GF has been quoted by a LAMPF experiment.6 Using a longer run than our previous result,5 we report the final results of the TRIUMF experiment of G<0.29GF (90% confidence) on the conversion of muonium to antimuonium.

1 J.J. Amato et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 21, 1709 (1968).
2 GF is the Fermi coupling constant 1.16637(2)10-5 GeV-2(hbar c)3, from Review of Particle Properties, Phys. Lett. B 204, 51 (1988).
3 W.C. Barber et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 22, 902 (1969); G.M. Marshall et al., Phys. Rev. D 25, 1174 (1982); B. Ni et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 59, 2716 (1987); Nucl. Phys. A478, 757c (1988).
4 G.A. Beer et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 57, 671 (1986).
5 T.M. Huber et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 61, 2189 (1988).
6 H.J. Mundinger et al., in Rare Decay Symposium, edited by D. Bryman, J. Ng, T. Numao, and J.-M. Poutissou (World Scientific, Singapore, 1989).

[The text above is a slightly modified excerpt from Search for Mixing of Muonium and Antimuonium, T.M. Huber et al., Phys. Rev. D 41, 2709 (1990). ]

A couple of comments on how I included references in this paper.

  • For reference 1, notice that it is placed in the text

... upper limit1 of G<5800GF on the ...

instead of

... upper limit of G<5800GF1 on the ...

which could lead to confusion that it implies GF to the 1st power.

  • The physical constant GF is quoted from a standard reference (with full errors). Always use a standard reference such as the Reviews of Particle Properties or Physics Today (Part II, August of each year).
  • For a group of related sources, you can group them as in reference 3. You can also indicate multiple sources as in 3,4 (in this paper, I needed to refer to the source in reference 4 later in the paper).
  • References 2 and 6 have been placed after the period in a sentence.
  • Notice that in the last sentence, the source 5 was referred to again - it is not necessary to make a new number to refer to the same source.
  • Reference 6 shows an excerpt from a collection of articles in a book.

Below are some of the more important types of references that you may need in your reports.

  • Reference to Article in a Journal: Indicate the Author(s) name, Journal Name (using abbreviations) Volume Number (in Boldface), Starting page number, (year). Examples are shown in Ref. 1 and Refs. 3-5 above. For some journals (such as Physics Today and Scientific American), you need to specify the issue number since they start at page 1 each issue. For example, for an article which starts on page 25 of the November 1995 (Issue number 11) Physics Today, use

H.H. Seliger, Phys. Today 48 (11), 25 (1995).

  • Reference to Material in a Book: To refer to material in a book (in this case, pages 100-102 from Serway), the reference would be similar to:

1R.A. Serway and J.W. Jewett, Physics for Scientists and Engineers, 6th Ed. (Thomson, Belmont, CA, 2004), pp. 100-102.

  • Reference to Article in a Book: See the example in Ref. 6 above.
  • Reference to an Unpublished Handout or Discussion:

1C.N. Niederriter, Radioactivity and Ionizing Radiation, Gustavus Adolphus College Lab Handout (Unpublished).
2D.C. Henry, (Private Communication).

  • Reference to a Computer Program:

1T. Huber and S. Mellema, Computer Program Modelfit, (Gustavus Adolphus College, Unpublished).
2Computer Program SIGMAPLOT Version 5.0, (Jandel Scientific, 1992).

  • Reference to a WWW Document: The AIP style manual has no format listed for this (the WWW did not exist in 1990 when the AIP style manual was published!). The essential thing is to include the full URL address of the source (otherwise it is impossible to find the document). For lack of an "official" style, use a format which is similar to:

1T.M. Huber, How To Locate Material for Formal Reports, WWW Document, (

For more information or complicated references, see the AIP Style manual. 

Electronic Copy:
Revised: 15-Mar-2006 by Tom Huber, Physics Department, Gustavus Adolphus College.