How to format your references using the Acta Astronautica citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Acta Astronautica. For a complete guide how to prepare your manuscript refer to the journal's instructions to authors.

Using reference management software

Typically you don't format your citations and bibliography by hand. The easiest way is to use a reference manager:

PaperpileThe citation style is built in and you can choose it in Settings > Citation Style or Paperpile > Citation Style in Google Docs.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
Mendeley, Zotero, Papers, and othersThe style is either built in or you can download a CSL file that is supported by most references management programs.
BibTeXBibTeX syles are usually part of a LaTeX template. Check the instructions to authors if the publisher offers a LaTeX template for this journal.

Journal articles

Those examples are references to articles in scholarly journals and how they are supposed to appear in your bibliography.

Not all journals organize their published articles in volumes and issues, so these fields are optional. Some electronic journals do not provide a page range, but instead list an article identifier. In a case like this it's safe to use the article identifier instead of the page range.

A journal article with 1 author
R. Durrer, Astronomy. Is the mystery of cosmic magnetic fields solved?, Science. 311 (2006) 787–788.
A journal article with 2 authors
S.J. Mojzsis, T.M. Harrison, Origin and significance of Archean quartzose rocks at Akilia, Greenland, Science. 298 (2002) 917; discussion 917.
A journal article with 3 authors
V. van Polanen, W.M. Bergmann Tiest, A.M.L. Kappers, Target contact and exploration strategies in haptic search, Sci. Rep. 4 (2014) 6254.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
J. Déjardin, A. Rappailles, O. Cuvier, C. Grimaud, M. Decoville, D. Locker, G. Cavalli, Recruitment of Drosophila Polycomb group proteins to chromatin by DSP1, Nature. 434 (2005) 533–538.

Books and book chapters

Here are examples of references for authored and edited books as well as book chapters.

An authored book
S.V. Estopinal, W. Lathrop, Professional Surveyors and Real Property Descriptions, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey, 2011.
An edited book
Z. Zhong, ed., Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Engineering and Applications (IEA) 2012: Volume 5, Springer, London, 2013.
A chapter in an edited book
J. Getz, M. Goresky, Generalities on Hilbert Modular Forms and Varieties, in: M. Goresky (Ed.), Hilbert Modular Forms with Coefficients in Intersection Homology and Quadratic Base Change, Springer, Basel, 2012: pp. 57–89.

Web sites

Sometimes references to web sites should appear directly in the text rather than in the bibliography. Refer to the Instructions to authors for Acta Astronautica.

Blog post
R. Andrews, The Enigmatic “Wheel of Giants” Monument As Old As Stonehenge, IFLScience. (2015). (accessed October 30, 2018).


This example shows the general structure used for government reports, technical reports, and scientific reports. If you can't locate the report number then it might be better to cite the report as a book. For reports it is usually not individual people that are credited as authors, but a governmental department or agency like "U. S. Food and Drug Administration" or "National Cancer Institute".

Government report
Government Accountability Office, Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle: DOD Is Assessing Data on Worldwide Launch Market to Inform New Acquisition Strategy, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2016.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
J. Dorin, Attachment style and perceived stress in college students, Doctoral dissertation, Pepperdine University, 2014.

News paper articles

Unlike scholarly journals, news papers do not usually have a volume and issue number. Instead, the full date and page number is required for a correct reference.

New York Times article
G. Gurley, Karaoke and Confession, New York Times. (2016) D4.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [1].
This sentence cites two references [1,2].
This sentence cites four references [1–4].

About the journal

Full journal titleActa Astronautica
AbbreviationActa Astronaut.
ISSN (print)0094-5765

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