Article Number Information
Beginning with Volume 87 Issue 1 (July 2001), Physical Review Letters is published electronically one article at a time. Such articles are identified by volume number and a six-digit article number (instead of volume and page number), for example, Phys. Rev. Lett. 87, 015702 (2001). This format allows articles to be fully citable as soon as they are published electronically, while maintaining the same identifier for both the electronic and print version.
The articles are listed in the Table of Contents and appear in the printed issue according to increasing article number and can therefore be located in the usual manner. Articles can also be located by volume and article number using the Volume/Article lookup.
Note that pages are numbered consecutively within each article, e.g., 015702-1, 015702-2,...; however, the hyphen and additional digits should not be used when citing or searching for the article.
The six digits in the article number are currently derived as follows: The first two digits correspond to the issue number, the next two are determined by article type and subject type and subject number assignments, and the last two are assigned according to the order of publication of the article, within that issue and subject area. This algorithm facilitates the shift to article-at-a-time publishing while maintaining the familiar delineations of volume, issue, and subject.