Friday, July 15, 2011

Reference Lists

I'm in the process of polishing a manuscript, as well as preparing for my preliminary thesis proposal. One thing I've noticed is a lack of standard for how many references a paper is expected to have. In my subfield, there seems to be an average of 30-40, but I've seen from 20 to 120 (neglecting review papers).

What's average in your field?


  1. 15-30, depending on the scope.

  2. How long is the paper? Letter papers (Appl Phys Lett, Phys Rev Lett) have on the order of 20, comprehensive papers (such as Phys Rev B) are probably not under 50. It's always good to err on the side of overciting rather than underciting.