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
Check, E. Cancer fears cast doubts on future of gene therapy. Nature 421, 678 (2003).
A journal article with 2 authors
Cook-Deegan, R. M. & McCormack, S. J. Intellectual property. Patents, secrecy, and DNA. Science 293, 217 (2001).
A journal article with 3 authors
Li, C. W., Ciston, J. & Kanan, M. W. Electroreduction of carbon monoxide to liquid fuel on oxide-derived nanocrystalline copper. Nature 508, 504–507 (2014).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Meng, H. et al. Systemic risk and spatiotemporal dynamics of the US housing market. Sci. Rep. 4, 3655 (2014).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Williams, T. & Turton, V. Trading Economics. (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2014).
An edited book
Ridgway, A. Early Childhood Pedagogical Play: A Cultural-Historical Interpretation Using Visual Methodology. (Springer, 2015).
A chapter in an edited book
Schreurs, M. A. The German Energiewende in a European Context. in Germany’s Energy Transition: A Comparative Perspective (eds. Hager, C. & Stefes, C. H.) 91–110 (Palgrave Macmillan US, 2016).

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
Hale, T. Two US WW2 Bombers That Went Missing Over The Pacific Discovered On Sea Floor. IFLScience (2017). Available at: (Accessed: 30th October 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. Problems Associated With Developing Large, Complex Data Processing Systems. (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1979).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Okafor-Dike, L. C. The effect of leadership on economic development: A case study of Nigeria. (University of Phoenix, 2008).

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
Reinhart, M. K. Kathy Mabry and Tom Prost. New York Times ST18 (2011).

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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