1. Explore topic context (casual web searching)
2. Learn basic topic information (library catalog: books)
3. Find a "niche" by the current scholarly conversations (library databases: articles)
4. Using supporting information sources (source citation)
5. Drafts & revisions (librarians & learning commons)
When looking at how physicists cite things, you'll frequently see references to AIP. This citation format style refers to the style created by the American Institute of Physics. AIP is the most commonly used format within the discipline of physics.
AIP is a numbered style, and as such references are numbered in the order in which they appeared in the actal article, and are listed in that exact same order at the end in the works cited section. (Other citation styles are non-numbered, and instead alphabetize all of the references used within a research paper.)
The AIP Style Manual is available for free PDF download from the official American Institute of Physics website. Fourth edition.
Monash University in Oregon has a fantastic guide about how to properly cite things in AIP style, including always-helpful examples.
Another extremely helpful resource when working on your reference list is available via the American Institute of Physics - a list of common journal title abbreviations, as they can sometimes be extremely confusing!
In-text citations consist *only* of the numbers in parentheses.
Every reference in the reference list must be cited somewhere in the article, and every reference cited in the article must be present in the reference list.