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
Madden, J. D. (2006). Materials science. Artificial muscle begins to breathe. Science (New York, N.Y.), 311(5767), 1559–1560.
A journal article with 2 authors
Kempermann, G., & Neumann, H. (2003). Neuroscience. Microglia: the enemy within? Science (New York, N.Y.), 302(5651), 1689–1690.
A journal article with 3 authors
Clauset, A., Moore, C., & Newman, M. E. J. (2008). Hierarchical structure and the prediction of missing links in networks. Nature, 453(7191), 98–101.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Law, M., Sirbuly, D. J., Johnson, J. C., Goldberger, J., Saykally, R. J., & Yang, P. (2004). Nanoribbon waveguides for subwavelength photonics integration. Science (New York, N.Y.), 305(5688), 1269–1273.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Baines, P., Ferraro, J., & Rogers, P. (2010). The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Eighteenth-Century Writers and Writing 1660 - 1789. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
An edited book
Akiyama, J., Chen, W. Y. C., Kano, M., Li, X., & Yu, Q. (Eds.). (2007). Discrete Geometry, Combinatorics and Graph Theory: 7th China-Japan Conference, CJCDGCGT 2005, Tianjin, China, November 18-20, 2005, Xi’an, China, November 22-24, 2005, Revised Selected Papers (Vol. 4381). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Heinrich, A. B. (2014). Life Cycle Assessment as Reflected by the International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment. In W. Klöpffer (Ed.), Background and Future Prospects in Life Cycle Assessment (pp. 145–188). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

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
Davis, J. (2015, June 18). More Species of Bee Need Protection, Say Researchers. 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. (1999). Year 2000 Computing Crisis: Readiness Status of the Department of Health and Human Services (No. T-AIMD-99-92). 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
Tzillah, A. (2009). The emissions of selected air pollutants from biodiesel fuel usage (Doctoral dissertation). University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH.

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
Rothenberg, B. (2017, June 21). Tennis; Azarenka Returns With a Victory. New York Times, p. B14.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Madden 2006).
This sentence cites two references (Kempermann and Neumann 2003; Madden 2006).

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

  • Two authors: (Kempermann and Neumann 2003)
  • Three or more authors: (Law et al. 2004)

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

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