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EP 446: Solid State Physics: AIP Citations

Course guide to help prepare students for their Research Paper and Presentation.

American Institute of Physics [AIP] Citation Style

Citations in the world of physics publishing come in two flavors, the Vancouver system and the Harvard system. We will focus on the Vancouver style.

The AIP Style Manual PDF (1990) outlines the Vancouver style.

AIP Conference Proceedings provides a more recent template and examples of both Vancouver and Harvard systems. Most physics journals use the Vancouver system of numbered citations in the text and Reference List, but AIP leaves the choice to the author.

More info on the American Journal of Physics citation and manuscript prep here.

Feel free to ask a librarian for help with any citation questions.

Library Resources

Vancouver Style

The Vancouver style of referencing uses an author-number style. The main advantage of the Vancouver style is that the main text reads more easily, and some editors consider this to be less obtrusive. Additionally, publications in the Reference List are directly correlated to numbers, saving the reader time in searching alphabetically for the first author of a reference.

In-text citations are numerical references, either in brackets [1] or superscript1, numbered consecutively in order of appearance in the text. The Reference List orders publications in the order they appeared in the text. 

Author names are as they appear in the original article; journal names are abbreviated; article titles are eliminated; the journal volume is in bold, followed by first page of article and year in parentheses.


The microstructure evolution and effects of He bubbles inside matrix metals and metal tritides are of both fundamental and technological interest in the studies of the aging of nuclear-materials [1], [2]. The nuclei transmutation either through nuclear reactions between energetic particles and nucleus or through decay of tritium released from metal tritides produces He isotope [3].


[1]  Q. Zhao, H. Z. Zhang, Y. W. Zhu, S. Q. Feng, X. C. Sun, J. Xu, and D. P. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 203115 (2005).

[2]  H. R. Schober, C. Oligschleger, and B. B. Laird, J. Non-Cryst. Solids 156–158, 965 (1993)

[3]  T. Kawamura, H. Uchiyama, S. Saito, H. Wakana, T. Mine, M. Hatano, K.Torii, and T. Onai, Tech. Dig.-Int. Electron. Device Meet. 2008, 77. 



The in-text reference that gives brief details (author, date, page) of the source you are quoting or referring to. This citation corresponds with the full details of the work (title, publisher, etc) given in your reference list or bibliography, so that the reader can identify and/or find the source. 

The Vancouver system uses a numerical reference in-text that corresponds to the Reference List, and sometimes footnotes.


A list of references at the end of your paper that includes the full information for your citations so that the reader can easily identify and retrieve each work (journal articles, books, webpages, etc).  Your reference list contains all the items you have cited or directly quoted from.

The Vancouver system lists publications in the order they appeared in the text.


A list of works you have consulted for your paper, but not cited in the Reference List. Works should be listed in alphabetical order by author and laid out in the same way as items in your reference list. If you can cite from every work you consulted, you will only need a reference list. 

Always check the guidance you are given for your research paper to find out if you are expected to submit work with a reference list and a bibliography. 

Highlighted Citation Manager: Zotero

Zotero collects all your research in a single, searchable interface. You can add PDFs, images, audio and video files, snapshots of web pages. Zotero automatically indexes the full-text content of your library, enabling you to find exactly what you're looking for.

Zotero has a Chrome Extension that allows easy addition of web content to your Zotero library.

More info on the button's functionality here.

The Zotero Style Repository allows you to import citation styles that might not be pre-loaded.

Popular citation styles in Physics: 


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