How to format your references using the Sensors & Actuators: A. Physical citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Sensors & Actuators: A. Physical. 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
W.G. Eberhard, Spider manipulation by a wasp larva, Nature. 406 (2000) 255–256.
A journal article with 2 authors
G. Kempermann, H. Neumann, Neuroscience. Microglia: the enemy within?, Science. 302 (2003) 1689–1690.
A journal article with 3 authors
J. Werfel, K. Petersen, R. Nagpal, Designing collective behavior in a termite-inspired robot construction team, Science. 343 (2014) 754–758.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
A. Heine, G. DeSantis, J.G. Luz, M. Mitchell, C.H. Wong, I.A. Wilson, Observation of covalent intermediates in an enzyme mechanism at atomic resolution, Science. 294 (2001) 369–374.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Z. Adamowicz, P. Zbierski, Logic of Mathematics, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 1997.
An edited book
S. Ceri, Web Information Retrieval, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2013.
A chapter in an edited book
H.M. Hubey, Chance Discovery, in: Y. Ohsawa, S. Tsumoto (Eds.), Chance Discoveries in Real World Decision Making: Data-Based Interaction of Human Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2006: pp. 49–68.

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 Sensors & Actuators: A. Physical.

Blog post
D. Andrew, Watch Today’s Solar Eclipse LIVE From Your Computer, IFLScience. (2015). (accessed October 30, 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, Information Technology: Architecture Needed to Guide Modernization of DOD’s Financial Operations, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2001.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
K. Li, An explicative model of leisure-time physical activities among church-going African Americans in Indianapolis, Doctoral dissertation, Indiana 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
B. Appelbaum, K. Kelly, Trump Is Said to Pick 2 To Serve on Fed Board, New York Times. (2017) B3.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [1].
This sentence cites two references [1,2].
This sentence cites four references [1–4].

About the journal

Full journal titleSensors & Actuators: A. Physical
AbbreviationSens. Actuators A Phys.
ISSN (print)0924-4247
ScopeElectrical and Electronic Engineering
Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
Metals and Alloys
Surfaces, Coatings and Films
Condensed Matter Physics

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