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The bibcode (also known as the "refcode") is a compact identifier used by a number of astronomical data systems to uniquely specify literature references. The Bibliographic Reference Code (REFCODE) was originally developed to be used in SIMBAD and the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED), but it became a de facto standard and is now used more widely, for example, by the NASA Astrophysics Data System who coined and prefer the term "bibcode".<ref name=a>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref><ref name=b>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> The code has a fixed length of 19 characters and has the form

YYYYJJJJJVVVVMPPPPA,

where YYYY is the four-digit year of the reference and JJJJJ is a code indicating where the reference was published. In the case of a journal reference, VVVV is the volume number, M indicates the section of the journal where the reference was published (e.g., L for a letters section), PPPP gives the starting page number, and A is the first letter of the last name of the first author. Periods (.) are used to fill unused fields and to pad fields out to their fixed length if too short; padding is done on the right for the publication code and on the left for the volume number and page number.<ref name=a /><ref name=b /> Page numbers greater than 9999 are continued in the M column. The 6-digit article ID numbers (in lieu of page numbers) used by the Physical Review publications since the late 1990s are treated as follows: The first two digits of the article ID, corresponding to the issue number, are converted to a lower-case letter (01 = a etc.) and inserted into column M. The remaining four digits are used in the page field.<ref name=b /> Some examples of the code are as follows:

Bibcode        Reference
1974AJ.....79..819H   citation CitationClass=journal

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1924MNRAS..84..308E   citation CitationClass=journal

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1970ApJ...161L..77K   citation CitationClass=journal

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2004PhRvL..93o0801M   citation CitationClass=journal

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