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
Maugeri, L. (2004). Science and industry. Oil: never cry wolf--why the petroleum age is far from over 304, 1114–1115.
A journal article with 2 authors
Allenby, B., Fink, J. (2005). Toward inherently secure and resilient societies 309, 1034–1036.
A journal article with 3 authors
Coulthard, G., Erb, W., Aggarwal, V.K. (2012). Stereocontrolled organocatalytic synthesis of prostaglandin PGF2α in seven steps 489, 278–281.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Singh, S., Houston, J., van Swol, F., Brinker, C.J. (2006). Superhydrophobicity: drying transition of confined water 442, 526.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Shaw, M.T. (2011). Introduction to Polymer Rheology (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.),.
An edited book
Durand-Lose, J., Margenstern, M., editors. (2007). Machines, Computations, and Universality: 5th International Conference, MCU 2007, Orléans, France, September 10-13, 2007. Proceedings (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer),.
A chapter in an edited book
Restrepo, D., Delay, R., Lin, W., López, F., Bacigalupo, J. (2015). TRP Channels in Transduction for Responses to Odorants and Pheromones In TRP Channels in Sensory Transduction, R. Madrid, J. Bacigalupo, eds. (Cham: Springer International Publishing), pp. 111–125.

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
Andrew, D. (2016). Why Zebra Refused To Be Saddled With Domesticity [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. (1999). Year 2000 Computing Crisis: Readiness Improving But Much Work Remains to Ensure Delivery of Critical Services (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office),. Report No.: T-AIMD-99-149.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Bracht, K.D. (2010). Causes of nonattendance and its effect on student achievement at the high school level Doctoral dissertation [ St. Charles, MO]: Lindenwood University),.

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
Billard, M. (2014). Walking in Paint-Spattered Footsteps , E6.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Maugeri 2004).
This sentence cites two references (Allenby and Fink 2005; Maugeri 2004).

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

  • Two authors: (Allenby and Fink 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (Singh et al. 2006)

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