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
Kelly, R.L. (2011). Retrospective. Lewis R. Binford (1931-2011) 332, 928.
A journal article with 2 authors
Bland, M.L., Birnbaum, M.J. (2011). Cell biology. ADaPting to energetic stress 332, 1387–1388.
A journal article with 3 authors
Juanes-Marcos, J.C., Althorpe, S.C., Wrede, E. (2005). Theoretical study of geometric phase effects in the hydrogen-exchange reaction 309, 1227–1230.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Schuerch, M., Spencer, T., Temmerman, S., Kirwan, M.L., Wolff, C., Lincke, D., et al. (2018). Future response of global coastal wetlands to sea-level rise 561, 231–234.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Pohanish, R.P., Greene, S.A. (2005). Wiley Guide to Chemical Incompatibilities (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.),.
An edited book
Gaspar-Cunha, A., Henggeler Antunes, C., Coello, C.C., editors. (2015). Evolutionary Multi-Criterion Optimization: 8th International Conference, EMO 2015, Guimarães, Portugal, March 29 --April 1, 2015. Proceedings, Part I (Cham: Springer International Publishing),.
A chapter in an edited book
Mohd Noor, N., Mohd Rijal, O., Yunus, A., Mahayiddin, A.A., Gan, C.P., Ong, E.L., et al. (2014). Texture-Based Statistical Detection and Discrimination of Some Respiratory Diseases Using Chest Radiograph In Advances in Medical Diagnostic Technology, Y.C. Hum, M.I. Mohamad Salim, S.-B. Ong, N.P. Utama, Y.M. Myint, N. Mohd Noor, et al., eds. (Singapore: Springer), pp. 75–97.

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, E. (2014). Read a Novel in 90 Minutes With A Smartphone App [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. (1982). Army Needs Better Data To Develop Policies for Sole and Inservice Parents (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office),. Report No.: FPCD-82-50.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Eller, L.S. (2012). Social media as avenue for personal learning for educators: Personal learning networks encourage application of knowledge and skills Doctoral dissertation [Malibu, CA]: Pepperdine 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
Detrick, B. (2017). The Drift , D6.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Kelly 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Bland and Birnbaum 2011; Kelly 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Bland and Birnbaum 2011)
  • Three or more authors: (Schuerch et al. 2018)

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