Reference Style and Format

Text Citations

References must be limited to readily accessible published material; i.e., those available from libraries, databases, and other public sources. All references must be numbered and cited in numerical order in the text. The list should be a complete and comprehensive representation of available literature, reflecting the state of the art as it pertains to the scope of the paper. Authors must reference the original source of a work, not a secondary source. Classified or export-restricted references, private communications, personal websites, and websites where there is no commitment to archiving may be mentioned parenthetically in the text or in a footnote but should not be cited in the reference list. A reference that is not reliably available is of no use to readers.

Each numbered reference citation in the text is enclosed in brackets as in the following examples:

It is shown by Smith [4] that …
The effect of … should be taken into account [5].
For example, see Refs. [6, 7].
Further documentation can be found in [8-10].

On the rare occasion when a specific page number or page range needs to accompany a citation within the text, include it within the brackets in the following manner:

This procedure was proposed by Gelb [11, p. 250]
The solution can be found in Rogers [12, pp.14-18].

When multiple author names are cited in the text, list up to two authors, as in “Walsh and Jones,” but use “et al.” with three or more authors, as in “Walsh et al.”

List of References

To avoid production delays, all references must be complete prior to acceptance of a manuscript. The following list gives examples of commonly lacking information: 

  • All authors to a reference (do not use “et al.” in the reference list)
  • Full journal or book titles and publisher names (no abbreviations)
  • Inclusive page numbers for journal articles and page or chapter numbers for books, when appropriate 
  • Journal volume and issue numbers (or months)
  • Locations of report sponsors (e.g., companies and universities)
  • Complete publishing information for proceedings (i.e., the same as for other books)

A URL that includes the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) should be incorporated into every reference for which it is available. A DOI is an identifier of intellectual property entities on digital networks. DOIs provide a system for persistent identification and interoperable exchange of managed information, and they are commonly assigned to journal articles, ebooks, research reports, and data sets. A DOI forms a permanent URL that begins and is the preferred link; see examples below for how to include a URL in a reference. For more information on DOIs and their value, visit or

For all references: Spell out everything except AIAA, NASA, NACA, AGARD, and NATO; months may be abbreviated.

Follow these examples for format; double-space the reference list in your manuscript: 

Chapter in a Book

[1] Turner, M. J., Martin, H. C., and Leible, R. C., “Further Development and Applications of Stiffness Method,” Matrix Methods of Structural Analysis, 1st ed., Vol. 1, Wiley, New York, 1963, pp. 6–10. 

Journal Article

[2] Johnson, J. E., Lewis, M. J., and Starkey, R. P., “Multi-Objective Optimization of Earth-Entry Vehicle Heat Shields,” Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 49, No. 1, 2012, pp. 38–50. [Note: Month acceptable if number is not available.]

[Note that in the URL the prefix precedes the DOI generated by Crossref, with the publisher/content identifiers represented by the x’s.]

or (if published only electronically and not yet available in a particular journal issue):

[3] Alyanak, E. J., and Pendleton, E., “Aeroelastic Tailoring and Active Aeroelastic Wing Impact on a Lambda Wing Configuration,” Journal of Aircraft, published online 10 Nov. 2016.  

[4] von Hippel, T., “Contribution of White Dwarfs to Cluster Masses,” Astronomical Journa.l, Vol. 114, No. 4, 1998, pp. 1536–1542.

[Note that a direct URL link may not include DOI data.]

Journal Article Not Yet Published

[5] Devasia, S., and Lee, A., “Scalable Low-Cost Unmanned-Aerial-Vehicle Traffic Network,” Journal of Air Transportation (not yet published).

Update the publication status of unpublished works at the author proof stage.

Proceedings/Transactions Articles

[6] Blottner, F. G., “Prediction of Electron Density in the Boundary Layer of Entry Vehicles with Ablation,” The Entry Plasma Sheath and Its Effects on Space Vehicle Electromagnetic Systems, NASA SP-252, Vol. 1, Oct. 1970, pp. 219–240.

[7] Wirin, W. B., “Space Debris 1989,” Proceedings of the Thirty-Second Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space, AIAA, Washington, DC, 1990, pp. 184–196.

Company or NASA Report

[8] Bhutta, B. A., and Lewis, C. H., “PNS Predictions of External/Internal Hypersonic Flows for NASP Propulsion Applications,” VRA, Inc., VRA-TR-90-01, Blacksburg, VA, June 1990.

[9] Miner, E. W., and Lewis, C. H., “Hypersonic Ionizing Air Viscous Shock-Layer Flows over Nonanalytic Blunt Bodies,” NASA CR-2550, May 1975.

Meeting Paper 

[10] Neifeld, A., and Ewert, R., “Jet Mixing Noise from Single Stream Jets using Stochastic Source Modeling,” AIAA Paper 2011-2700, June 2011.

[11]  Hobbs, D. E., “Experimental Investigation of Compressor Cascade Wakes,” American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Paper 82-GT-299, April 1982.

Update meeting paper references if they have been published in a journal.

AIAA Book Series

[12] Sutton, K., “Air Radiation Revisited,” Thermal Design of Aeroassisted Orbital Transfer Vehicles, edited by H. F. Nelson, Vol. 96, Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics, AIAA, New York, 1985, pp. 419–441.

Electronic Databases

[13] Tseng, K., “Nonlinear Green’s Function Method for Transonic Potential Flow,” Ph.D. Dissertation, Aeronautics and Astronautics Dept., Boston Univ., Boston, MA, 1983, ProQuest Ebrary.

[14] Vickers, A., “10–110 mm/hr Hypodermic Gravity Design A,” Rainfall Simulation Database, retrieved 15 March 1998.

[Include access or retrieval date when an online source is not dated.]

Anonymous Report

[15] “Equations, Tables, and Charts for Compressible Flow,” NACA Rept. 1135, 1953. [Note: Include month if available.]