How to format your references using the SCIENCE CHINA Life Sciences citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for SCIENCE CHINA Life Sciences. 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
Gewin, V. (2006). Biologist aims to ease the pain for entrepreneurs 440, 738–739.
A journal article with 2 authors
Bourne, H.R., Weiner, O. (2002). A chemical compass 419, 21.
A journal article with 3 authors
Sheffield, J., Wood, E.F., Roderick, M.L. (2012). Little change in global drought over the past 60 years 491, 435–438.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Mitro, N., Mak, P.A., Vargas, L., Godio, C., Hampton, E., Molteni, V., et al. (2007). The nuclear receptor LXR is a glucose sensor 445, 219–223.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Russell, D.L. (2006). Practical Wastewater Treatment (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.),.
An edited book
Brem, A., Viardot, É., editors. (2015). Adoption of Innovation: Balancing Internal and External Stakeholders in the Marketing of Innovation (Cham: Springer International Publishing),.
A chapter in an edited book
Lesmes, D.P., Friedman, S.P. (2005). Relationships between the Electrical and Hydrogeological Properties of Rocks and Soils In Hydrogeophysics, Y. Rubin, S.S. Hubbard, eds. (Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands), pp. 87–128.

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 SCIENCE CHINA Life Sciences.

Blog post
Hale, T. (2016). This Is What Music Does To Your Brain IFLScience),.


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. (2009). Teacher Quality: Sustained Coordination among Key Federal Education Programs Could Enhance State Efforts to Improve Teacher Quality (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office),. Report No.: GAO-09-593.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Jozwiak, A.L. (2012). Social work internship stipend program: A grant proposal Doctoral dissertation [Long Beach, CA]: California State University, Long Beach),.

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
Etheredge, P. by G. (2016). The High Line , RE9.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Gewin 2006).
This sentence cites two references (Bourne and Weiner 2002; Gewin 2006).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Bourne and Weiner 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Mitro et al. 2007)

About the journal

Full journal titleSCIENCE CHINA Life Sciences
AbbreviationSci. China Life Sci.
ISSN (print)1674-7305
ISSN (online)1869-1889
ScopeGeneral Agricultural and Biological Sciences
General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
General Environmental Science

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