Curated by UCL

Guide to handling references

References are handled in the Article Attributes panel (you’ll probably have to scroll down to find it), which contains an editing area where BibTex code goes. The code is processed by a custom plug-in, not a full-blown BibTex system, so not everything that works in BibTex/Latex will work here.

The citations in the text are done with special coding, like this example,\cite{bib} which get converted to superscripted numbers with hyperlinks in the preview and published version.


In the article text, cite like this:

Joe Smith made this conjecture,\cite{smith1989} but then many others disproved it.\cite{jones,brown,chang}

Which will appear something like:

Joe Smith made this conjecture,[1] but then many others disproved it.[2][3][4]

Each number is hyperlinked down to the reference list at the end of the article.


Examples of BibTeX code that work:

(It should work to cut and paste these examples from this page to use as a template in the Article Attributes panel. If there are problems, make sure that the quote marks are plain, straight double-quote symbols (") and not curly quotes (“these”). If you revise this page of guidelines, keep the examples in [code] html tags. That should keep the quotes plain, avoids extra blank lines, etc, for people wanting to cut-and-paste.)

Journal article


author = "D. Yu. Fedyanin, A. V. Krasavin, and A. V. Zayats",
title = "Surface plasmon polariton amplification",
journal = "Nano Lett.",
year = "2012",
volume = "12",
pages = "2459-2463"


1. D. Yu. Fedyanin, A. V. Krasavin, and A. V. Zayats, Surface plasmon polariton amplificationNano Lett. 12, pp. 2459–2463, 2012.

Note these differences from SPIE Newsroom BibTex:

At present we format the names the way we want them. We don’t have the processor automatically converting full names in various formats into initials. Nor does it process a series of names connected by “and”s into a list with commas. We can probably get John/Simon to program the processor to do this if it is going to be a consistent time saver.



author = "J. Conway and N. J. A. Sloane",
title = "Sphere Packings, Lattices and Groups",
publisher = "3rd ed., Springer",
city ="New York",
year = "1999",
url = "",


1. J. Conway and N. J. A. Sloane, Sphere Packings, Lattices and Groups, 3rd ed., Springer, New York, 1999.

Note: Title is linked to the url.


Magazine/Newspaper article


title = "A problem of bubbles frames an Olympic design",
author = "H. Fountain",
year = "5 August 2008",
journal = "New York Times",
url = "",


2. H. Fountain, A problem of bubbles frames an Olympic designNew York Times, 5 August 2008.

Note: In this case the article title is bold because it is linked to a url, and all links are bold.


Web page


title = "Surface Evolver",
year = "Software developed by Ken Brakke. Accessed 21 October 2012",
url = "",


3. Surface Evolver, Software developed by Ken Brakke. Accessed 21 October 2012.


Yes, coding everything in the “year” field is a cheat to get the effect of a “note” field.

Title is linked to the url. That’s why the style differs from the SPIE Newsroom specification, which has the url spelled out as the first element.

For any reference, the url field is turned into a hyperlink on the title field. If you want the url to be displayed as well, it would need to be done twice:

title = “”,
url = “”,


Web page, another example


title = "Listing of research by Salvatore Torquato",
year = "Princeton University, New Jersey. Accessed 21 October 2012",
url = "",


9. Listing of research by Salvatore Torquato, Princeton University, New Jersey. Accessed 21 October 2012.

Note: Nothing new about the coding in this example, but it’s a useful example for when the reference goes to a researcher’s web page.