How to format your references using the Actuators citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Actuators. 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
Arendt, A.A. Geophysics. Assessing the Status of Alaska’s Glaciers. Science 2011, 332, 1044–1045.
A journal article with 2 authors
Oppenheimer, S.J.; Richards, M. Polynesian Origins. Slow Boat to Melanesia? Nature 2001, 410, 166–167.
A journal article with 3 authors
Khanna, K.M.; McNamara, J.T.; Lefrançois, L. In Situ Imaging of the Endogenous CD8 T Cell Response to Infection. Science 2007, 318, 116–120.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Cook, P.J.; Ju, B.G.; Telese, F.; Wang, X.; Glass, C.K.; Rosenfeld, M.G. Tyrosine Dephosphorylation of H2AX Modulates Apoptosis and Survival Decisions. Nature 2009, 458, 591–596.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Boddy, R.; Smith, G. Effective Experimentation; John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester, UK, 2010; ISBN 9780470666654.
An edited book
Green Fashion: Volume 1; Muthu, S.S., Gardetti, M.A., Eds.; Environmental Footprints and Eco-design of Products and Processes; Springer: Singapore, 2016; ISBN 9789811001093.
A chapter in an edited book
Given-Wilson, T.; Gorla, D. Pattern Matching and Bisimulation. In Coordination Models and Languages: 15th International Conference, COORDINATION 2013, Held as Part of the 8th International Federated Conference on Distributed Computing Techniques, DisCoTec 2013, Florence, Italy, June 3-5, 2013. Proceedings; Nicola, R.D., Julien, C., Eds.; Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2013; pp. 60–74 ISBN 9783642384929.

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 Actuators.

Blog post
Andrew, D. 33 Stunning Images Shortlisted For The Sony World Photography Awards 2017 (accessed on 30 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 Hispanic Dropouts and Federal Programs; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1994;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Nunn, T.N. A Puer–Senex Archetypal Model of the Therapeutic Relationship. Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute: Carpinteria, CA, 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
Barron, J. It’s Time to Retrieve Time’s Time Capsule. New York Times 2017, A20.

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 titleActuators
ISSN (online)2076-0825

Other styles