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
Jain, R. K. (2005). Normalization of tumor vasculature: an emerging concept in antiangiogenic therapy. Science (New York, N.Y.), 307(5706), 58–62.
A journal article with 2 authors
Goo, L., & Pierson, T. C. (2015). Dengue virus: Bumps in the road to therapeutic antibodies. Nature, 524(7565), 295–296.
A journal article with 3 authors
Boyvat, M., Hafner, C., & Leuthold, J. (2014). Wireless control and selection of forces and torques--towards wireless engines. Scientific reports, 4, 5681.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
David, C. J., Chen, M., Assanah, M., Canoll, P., & Manley, J. L. (2010). HnRNP proteins controlled by c-Myc deregulate pyruvate kinase mRNA splicing in cancer. Nature, 463(7279), 364–368.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Tyson, H. (2010). Microsoft® Word 2010 Bible. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Ma, M., Fradinho Oliveira, M., & Madeiras Pereira, J. (Eds.). (2011). Serious Games Development and Applications: Second International Conference, SGDA 2011, Lisbon, Portugal, September 19-20, 2011. Proceedings (Vol. 6944). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Siddique, U., & Tahar, S. (2015). On the Formalization of Cardinal Points of Optical Systems. In T. Bouabana-Tebibel & S. H. Rubin (Eds.), Formalisms for Reuse and Systems Integration (pp. 79–102). 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
Andrew, E. (2014, August 30). Old dope, new tricks: the new science of medical cannabis. 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. (1973). Protest Against Rejection of Bid (No. B-178720). 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
Tate, K. J. (2014). Utilizing Canines in a Public School Setting: A Case Study (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
Schwartz, J. (2017, May 2). Debate on Pulling Back From Paris Climate Deal Could Turn on a Single Phrase. New York Times, p. A17.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Jain 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Goo and Pierson 2015; Jain 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Goo and Pierson 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (David et al. 2010)

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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