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
Gottschling, D.E. Molecular biology. Fragile delivery to the genome. Science 2012, 337, 160–161.
A journal article with 2 authors
Hirose, T.; Horvitz, H.R. An Sp1 transcription factor coordinates caspase-dependent and -independent apoptotic pathways. Nature 2013, 500, 354–358.
A journal article with 3 authors
Agathon, A.; Thisse, C.; Thisse, B. The molecular nature of the zebrafish tail organizer. Nature 2003, 424, 448–452.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Lunde, C.; Jensen, P.E.; Haldrup, A.; Knoetzel, J.; Scheller, H.V. The PSI-H subunit of photosystem I is essential for state transitions in plant photosynthesis. Nature 2000, 408, 613–615.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lamperti, J.W. Probability: A Survey of the Mathematical Theory; Wiley Series in Probability and Statistics; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ, 1996; ISBN 9781118150443.
An edited book
Fourth IFIP International Conference on Theoretical Computer Science- TCS 2006: IFIP 19th Worm Computer Congress, TC-1, Foundations of Computer Science, August 23–24, 2006, Santiago, Chile; Navarro, G., Bertossi, L., Kohayakawa, Y., Eds.; IFIP International Federation for Information Processing; Springer US: Boston, MA, 2006; Vol. 209; ISBN 9780387346335.
A chapter in an edited book
Vandercruysse, S.; ter Vrugte, J.; de Jong, T.; Wouters, P.; van Oostendorp, H.; Verschaffel, L.; Van Dooren, W.; Elen, J. “Zeldenrust”: A Mathematical Game-Based Learning Environment for Prevocational Students. In Describing and Studying Domain-Specific Serious Games; Torbeyns, J., Lehtinen, E., Elen, J., Eds.; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2015; pp. 63–81 ISBN 9783319202754.

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, E. Watch TV Hosts Argue About Whether The Moon Is A Star Or Planet Available online: (accessed on Oct 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 Securities and Exchange Commission: Greater Attention Is Needed to Enhance Communication and Utilization of Resources in the Division of Enforcement; U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 2009;

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Griess, J.O. A canine audience: The effect of Animal-Assisted Therapy on reading progress among students identified with learning disabilities. Doctoral dissertation, University of South Florida: Tampa, FL, 2010.

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. Jerry Coleman, 89, Yankee Infielder, Fighter Pilot and Voice of the Padres. New York Times 2014, A15.

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