How to format your references using the PAIN citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for PAIN. 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
Amelino-Camelia G. A phenomenological description of space-time noise in quantum gravity. Nature 2001;410:1065–1067.
A journal article with 2 authors
Chang EF, Merzenich MM. Environmental noise retards auditory cortical development. Science 2003;300:498–502.
A journal article with 3 authors
Saitta EKH, Legron-Rodriguez T, Bowdon MA. IBI* series winner. An inquiry into the water around us. Science 2013;341:971–972.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Hinterholzinger FM, Rühle B, Wuttke S, Karaghiosoff K, Bein T. Highly sensitive and selective fluoride detection in water through fluorophore release from a metal-organic framework. Sci Rep 2013;3:2562.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Heller D. Hairspray. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.
An edited book
Wolf SO, Schöttli J, Frommherz D, Fürstenberg K, Gallenkamp M, König L, Pauli M eds. Politics in South Asia: Culture, Rationality and Conceptual Flow. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2015.
A chapter in an edited book
Wahid SM, Mukherji A, Shrestha A. Climate Change Adaptation, Water Infrastructure Development, and Responsive Governance in the Himalayas: The Case Study of Nepal’s Koshi River Basin. In: Tortajada C, editor. Increasing Resilience to Climate Variability and Change: The Roles of Infrastructure and Governance in the Context of Adaptation. Water Resources Development and Management. Singapore: Springer, 2016. pp. 61–80.

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 PAIN.

Blog post
Fang J. Lower Testosterone, Feminine Skull Features Helped Civilize Ancient Humans. IFLScience 2014. Available: Accessed 30 Oct 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. Substance Abuse Surveys. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1996.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Miller DB. Nurse educators’ leadership styles and nurse graduates’ licensure passage rates [Doctoral dissertation]. Phoenix, AZ: University of Phoenix. (2009).

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
Arango T. Food Poisoning Sickens Hundreds of Iraqis at U.N.-Run Camp. New York Times 2017:A9.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [2].
This sentence cites two references [2,4].
This sentence cites four references [2,4,7,8].

About the journal

Full journal titlePAIN
ISSN (print)0304-3959
ISSN (online)1872-6623
ScopeAnesthesiology and Pain Medicine
Clinical Neurology

Other styles