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
Duan, L.-M. (2011). Physics. Quantum correlation between distant diamonds 334, 1213–1214.
A journal article with 2 authors
Meister, G., Tuschl, T. (2004). Mechanisms of gene silencing by double-stranded RNA 431, 343–349.
A journal article with 3 authors
Morewedge, C.K., Huh, Y.E., Vosgerau, J. (2010). Thought for food: imagined consumption reduces actual consumption 330, 1530–1533.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Akimov, A.V., Mukherjee, A., Yu, C.L., Chang, D.E., Zibrov, A.S., Hemmer, P.R., et al. (2007). Generation of single optical plasmons in metallic nanowires coupled to quantum dots 450, 402–406.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Manuele, F.A. (2005). On the Practice of Safety (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.),.
An edited book
Onieva, J.A., Sauveron, D., Chaumette, S., Gollmann, D., Markantonakis, K., editors. (2008). Information Security Theory and Practices. Smart Devices, Convergence and Next Generation Networks: Second IFIP WG 11.2 International Workshop, WISTP 2008, Seville, Spain, May 13-16, 2008. Proceedings (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer),.
A chapter in an edited book
Coughenour, M., Behnke, R., Lomas, J., Price, K. (2008). Forage Distributions, Range Condition, and the Importance of Pastoral Movement in Central Asia - A Remote Sensing Study In The Socio-Economic Causes and Consequences of Desertification in Central Asia, R. Behnke, ed. (Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands), pp. 45–80.

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 SCIENCE CHINA Life Sciences.

Blog post
Hale, T. (2016). World’s First Head Transplant Will Use Virtual Reality To Prepare Patients [Internet] 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. (1993). Telecommunications: FCC’s Oversight Efforts to Control Cross-Subsidization (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office),. Report No.: RCED-93-34.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Alimo, C.J. (2010). From dialogue to action: The development of White racial allies Doctoral dissertation [College Park, MD]: University of Maryland, College Park),.

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
Wagner, J. (2016). Battered but Persevering, Mets Reach the Threshold of the Postseason , D2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Duan 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Duan 2011; Meister and Tuschl 2004).

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

  • Two authors: (Meister and Tuschl 2004)
  • Three or more authors: (Akimov 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

Other styles