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
K. Bourzac, Neuroscience: Rewiring the brain, Nature. 522 (2015) S50-2.
A journal article with 2 authors
R. Kind, X. Yuan, Geophysics. Seismic images of the biggest crash on Earth, Science. 329 (2010) 1479–1480.
A journal article with 3 authors
H. Ohtsuki, Y. Iwasa, M.A. Nowak, Indirect reciprocity provides only a narrow margin of efficiency for costly punishment, Nature. 457 (2009) 79–82.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
P. Zhang, K. Yaji, T. Hashimoto, Y. Ota, T. Kondo, K. Okazaki, Z. Wang, J. Wen, G.D. Gu, H. Ding, S. Shin, Observation of topological superconductivity on the surface of an iron-based superconductor, Science. 360 (2018) 182–186.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
R.J. Seifert, Profiting from Weekly Options, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ, 2015.
An edited book
A. Segalini, ed., Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Jets, Wakes and Separated Flows (ICJWSF2015), Springer International Publishing, Cham, 2016.
A chapter in an edited book
I. Adä, M.R. Berthold, Detecting Events in Molecular Dynamics Simulations, in: A. Tucker, F. Höppner, A. Siebes, S. Swift (Eds.), Advances in Intelligent Data Analysis XII: 12th International Symposium, IDA 2013, London, UK, October 17-19, 2013. Proceedings, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2013: pp. 44–55.

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
E. Andrew, A Lion and Tiger and Bear; Oh My!, IFLScience. (2013). (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, Estimates of Potential Savings by Retiring Two Aircraft Carriers Early, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1988.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
D.W. Stahl-Kovell, Reimagining red power: Native American community, activism, and academics in postwar America, Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, 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
J. Hodgman, Bonus Advice From Judge John Hodgman, New York Times. (2017) MM24.

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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