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
Holmes D. The problem with platinum. Nature 2015;527:S218-9.
A journal article with 2 authors
Yen H-L, Peiris JSM. Virology: bird flu in mammals. Nature 2012;486:332–333.
A journal article with 3 authors
Anderson JS, Rittle J, Peters JC. Catalytic conversion of nitrogen to ammonia by an iron model complex. Nature 2013;501:84–87.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Muranyi W, Haas J, Wagner M, Krohne G, Koszinowski UH. Cytomegalovirus recruitment of cellular kinases to dissolve the nuclear lamina. Science 2002;297:854–857.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Center for Chemical Process Safety. Guidelines for Process Safety in Outsourced Manufacturing Operations. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2000 p.
An edited book
Yu W, He H, Zhang N eds. Advances in Neural Networks – ISNN 2009: 6th International Symposium on Neural Networks, ISNN 2009 Wuhan, China, May 26-29, 2009 Proceedings, Part II. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2009 p.
A chapter in an edited book
Hesthaven JS, Rozza G, Stamm B. The Empirical Interpolation Method. In: Rozza G, Stamm B, editors. Certified Reduced Basis Methods for Parametrized Partial Differential Equations. SpringerBriefs in Mathematics. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2016. pp. 67–85.

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
Andrew E. Jetpack Will Help Runners Hit 4-Minute Miles. 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. Highlights of a GAO Forum: The Federal Government’s Role in Improving Financial Literacy. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2004 p.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Bade LL. Extending the benefits of alcohol and drug treatment: An exploration of volunteer utilization and delivery of recovery services [Doctoral dissertation]. Malibu, CA: Pepperdine University. (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
Rosenberg E, Stack L. Times Square Chaos as Driver Kills a Woman and Injures 22. New York Times 2017:A1.

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 [4,5,7,8].

About the journal

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

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