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
Graham-Rowe, D. (2012). Therapeutics: Strength in numbers. Nature, 489(7417), S16-7.
A journal article with 2 authors
Froemke, R. C., & Dan, Y. (2002). Spike-timing-dependent synaptic modification induced by natural spike trains. Nature, 416(6879), 433–438.
A journal article with 3 authors
Mora, C., Rollo, A., & Tittensor, D. P. (2013). Comment on “Can we name Earth’s species before they go extinct?” Science (New York, N.Y.), 341(6143), 237.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Erwin, S. C., Zu, L., Haftel, M. I., Efros, A. L., Kennedy, T. A., & Norris, D. J. (2005). Doping semiconductor nanocrystals. Nature, 436(7047), 91–94.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Rankin, J. (2008). Effects of Antenatal Exercise on Psychological Well-Being, Pregnancy and Birth Outcome. Philadelphia, PA, USA: Whurr Publishers Ltd.
An edited book
Banaszkiewicz, P. A., & Kader, D. F. (Eds.). (2014). Classic Papers in Orthopaedics. London: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Lim, E. H. Y., & Lee, R. S. T. (2007). iJADE InfoSeeker: On Using Intelligent Context-Aware Agents for Retrieving and Analyzing Chinese Web Articles. In R. S. T. Lee & V. Loia (Eds.), Computational Intelligence for Agent-based Systems (pp. 127–153). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.

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. (2017, May 4). The Dark Web Is Actually More Of An Archipelago. 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. (2009). Federal Air Marshal Service: Actions Taken to Fulfill Core Mission and Address Workforce Issues (No. GAO-09-903T). 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
Chung, T. Y.-Y. (2010). Pulse designs on TR-MAS UWB (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
Sisario, B. (2016, October 21). Dylan and the Nobel: It Gets Weirder. New York Times, p. C3.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Graham-Rowe 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Froemke and Dan 2002; Graham-Rowe 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Froemke and Dan 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Erwin et al. 2005)

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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