How to format your references using the Human Nature citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Human Nature. 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
Sagdeev, R. (2007). History of science. Sputnik and the Soviets. Science (New York, N.Y.), 318(5847), 51–52.
A journal article with 2 authors
Usherwood, J. R., & Wilson, A. M. (2005). Biomechanics: no force limit on greyhound sprint speed. Nature, 438(7069), 753–754.
A journal article with 3 authors
Goddard, M. R., Godfray, H. C. J., & Burt, A. (2005). Sex increases the efficacy of natural selection in experimental yeast populations. Nature, 434(7033), 636–640.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Fennimore, A. M., Yuzvinsky, T. D., Han, W.-Q., Fuhrer, M. S., Cumings, J., & Zettl, A. (2003). Rotational actuators based on carbon nanotubes. Nature, 424(6947), 408–410.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Smith, C. L. (2012). Distillation Control. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Chakraborti, S., & Dhalla, N. S. (Eds.). (2013). Proteases in Health and Disease (Vol. 7). New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Di Martino, C. (2016). For a Genealogy of Selfhood: Starting from Paul Ricœur. In S. Davidson & M.-A. Vallée (Eds.), Hermeneutics and Phenomenology in Paul Ricoeur: Between Text and Phenomenon (pp. 61–74). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

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 Human Nature.

Blog post
Andrews, R. (2016, May 23). The Arctic Is Experiencing Its Earliest Ever Snowmelt. IFLScience. IFLScience. Accessed 30 October 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. (1993). Federal Research: Minor Changes Would Further Improve New NSF Indirect Cost Guidance (No. RCED-93-140). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Ponder, S. (2010). Parent information nights: An elementary school principal’s search to increase parent input and affect the learning-at-home environment (Doctoral dissertation). Lindenwood University, St. Charles, MO.

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
Kelly, C. (2008, January 13). A Remodeling Gift to Remind Tarrytown of a Church’s History. New York Times, p. 14WE11.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Sagdeev 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Sagdeev 2007; Usherwood and Wilson 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Usherwood and Wilson 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (Fennimore et al. 2003)

About the journal

Full journal titleHuman Nature
AbbreviationHum. Nat.
ISSN (print)1045-6767
ISSN (online)1936-4776
ScopeEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
Sociology and Political Science

Other styles