How to format your references using the Acta Pharmacologica Sinica citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Acta Pharmacologica Sinica. 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
Trivedi, B. P. Neuroscience: hardwired for taste. Nature 486, S7-9 (2012).
A journal article with 2 authors
Brown, M. S. & Goldstein, J. L. Biomedicine. Lowering LDL--not only how low, but how long? Science 311, 1721–1723 (2006).
A journal article with 3 authors
Berton, O., Hahn, C.-G. & Thase, M. E. Are we getting closer to valid translational models for major depression? Science 338, 75–79 (2012).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Kerssemakers, J. W. J. et al. Assembly dynamics of microtubules at molecular resolution. Nature 442, 709–712 (2006).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Möller, R., Pöter, H. & Schwarze, K. Planen und Bauen mit Trapezprofilen und Sandwichelementen. (Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, 2011).
An edited book
Product-Focused Software Process Improvement: 12th International Conference, PROFES 2011, Torre Canne, Italy, June 20-22, 2011. Proceedings. vol. 6759 (Springer, 2011).
A chapter in an edited book
Zhaochun, W. A Path Out of the Management Theory Jungle: in Innovative Computing and Information: International Conference, ICCIC 2011, Wuhan, China, September 17-18, 2011. Proceedings, Part II (ed. Dai, M.) 26–33 (Springer, 2011).

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 Pharmacologica Sinica.

Blog post
Fang, J. Electric Eels Remotely Control the Movements of Their Prey. IFLScience (2014).


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. Space Acquisitions: Space Based Infrared System Could Benefit from Technology Insertion Planning. (2015).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Ravilla, S. Correlation between diabetes and periodontitis. (California State University, Long Beach, 2013).

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
(nyt), S. K. World Briefing | Europe: Russia: Inquiry Into British Council. New York Times A11 (2004).

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in superscript:

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 Pharmacologica Sinica
AbbreviationActa Pharmacol. Sin.
ISSN (print)1671-4083
ISSN (online)1745-7254
ScopeGeneral Medicine
Pharmacology (medical)

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