How to format your references using the Acta Crystallographica Section D: Biological Crystallography citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Acta Crystallographica Section D: Biological Crystallography. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Bowman, D. (2012). Nature. 482, 30.
A journal article with 2 authors
Macpherson, A. J. & Uhr, T. (2004). Science. 303, 1662–1665.
A journal article with 3 authors
Zhao, J., Murray, S. & Lipuma, J. J. (2014). Sci. Rep. 4, 4345.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Li, J., Stein, D., McMullan, C., Branton, D., Aziz, M. J. & Golovchenko, J. A. (2001). Nature. 412, 166–169.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Shafer, G. & Vovk, V. (2005). Probability and Finance: It’s Only a Game! Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
(2011). Stochastic Analysis 2010 Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Shi, J., Cheng, L., Gershon, E. S. & Liu, C. (2009). Handbook of Neurochemistry and Molecular Neurobiology: Schizophrenia, Vol. edited by A. Lajtha, D. Javitt & J. Kantrowitz, pp. 91–106. Boston, MA: Springer US.

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 Crystallographica Section D: Biological Crystallography.

Blog post
O`Callaghan, J. (2015). How To See This Week’s Rare Alignment Of Venus, Mars, And Jupiter IFLScience.


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 (1998). Intercity Passenger Rail: Financial Performance of Amtrak’s Routes Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Tucker, C. M. (2010). End-stage renal disease patients and dialysis: Can consistent transportation influence quality of life and treatment compliance? A grant writing project. Doctoral dissertation. California State University, Long Beach.

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
Vecsey, G. (2011). New York Times. B15.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Bowman, 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Bowman, 2012; Macpherson & Uhr, 2004).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Macpherson & Uhr, 2004)
  • Three or more authors: (Li et al., 2001)

About the journal

Full journal titleActa Crystallographica Section D: Biological Crystallography
AbbreviationActa Crystallogr. D Biol. Crystallogr.
ISSN (online)1399-0047
ScopeStructural Biology
General Medicine

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