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
Blau, H. M. (2002). A twist of fate. Nature, 419(6906), 437.
A journal article with 2 authors
Glaeser, E. L., & Shleifer, A. (2014). Retrospective. Gary Becker (1930-2014). Science (New York, N.Y.), 344(6189), 1233.
A journal article with 3 authors
Shi, Y., Evans, J. E., & Rock, K. L. (2003). Molecular identification of a danger signal that alerts the immune system to dying cells. Nature, 425(6957), 516–521.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Hoyos, C. D., Agudelo, P. A., Webster, P. J., & Curry, J. A. (2006). Deconvolution of the factors contributing to the increase in global hurricane intensity. Science (New York, N.Y.), 312(5770), 94–97.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Tattar, P. N., Ramaiah, S., & Manjunath, B. G. (2016). A Course in Statistics With R. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Bertelsen, O. W., Ciolfi, L., Grasso, M. A., & Papadopoulos, G. A. (Eds.). (2013). ECSCW 2013: Proceedings of the 13th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 21-25 September 2013, Paphos, Cyprus. London: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Yokobori, T. (2006). ICF contribution to fracture research in the second half of the 20th century. In A. Carpinteri, Y.-W. Mai, & R. O. Ritchie (Eds.), Advances in Fracture Research: Honour and Plenary Lectures Presented at the 11th International Conference on Fracture (ICF11), Held in Turin, Italy, on March 20–25, 2005 (pp. 37–45). 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
Andrew, E. (2015, October 10). How The Neutrino Could Solve Great Cosmic Mysteries And Win Its Next Nobel Prize. 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. (2011). International Space Station (ISS) - Ongoing Assessments for Life Extension Appear to be Supported (No. GAO-11-519R). 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
Cong, M. (2017). A Comparative Analysis of Acculturative Stress Among Mainland Chinese and Taiwanese International Students at a Hispanic Serving University (Doctoral dissertation). California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA.

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
Crow, K. (2001, September 23). Physically Unscathed, But Hardly Untouched. New York Times, p. 144.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Blau 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Blau 2002; Glaeser and Shleifer 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Glaeser and Shleifer 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Hoyos et al. 2006)

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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