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
Cohen, P. (2000). How to make diplomats scientifically literate. Nature, 405(6783), 116.
A journal article with 2 authors
Smock, R. G., & Gierasch, L. M. (2009). Sending signals dynamically. Science (New York, N.Y.), 324(5924), 198–203.
A journal article with 3 authors
Zhao, M.-H., Chen, X.-P., & Wang, Q. (2014). Wetting failure of hydrophilic surfaces promoted by surface roughness. Scientific reports, 4, 5376.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Lien, W.-H., Klezovitch, O., Fernandez, T. E., Delrow, J., & Vasioukhin, V. (2006). alphaE-catenin controls cerebral cortical size by regulating the hedgehog signaling pathway. Science (New York, N.Y.), 311(5767), 1609–1612.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Kuehni, R. G. (2012). Color. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Gong, Z., Luo, X., Chen, J., Lei, J., & Wang, F. L. (Eds.). (2011). Web Information Systems and Mining: International Conference, WISM 2011, Taiyuan, China, September 24-25, 2011, Proceedings, Part II (Vol. 6988). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Daulton, T. L. (2005). Nanodiamonds in the Cosmos. In D. M. Gruen, O. A. Shenderova, & A. Y. Vul’ (Eds.), Synthesis, Properties and Applications of Ultrananocrystalline Diamond: Proceedings of the NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Synthesis, Properties and Applications of Ultrananocrystalline Diamond St. Petersburg, Russia 7–10 June 2004 (pp. 49–62). 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. (2013, November 28). NASA To Put Plant Life On The Moon. 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. (2016). Federally Leased Vehicles: Agencies Should Strengthen Assessment Processes to Reduce Underutilized Vehicles (No. GAO-16-136). 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
Newcomb, S. (2009). Reliability of the CVI range: A functional vision assessment for children with cortical visual impairment (Doctoral dissertation). University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, MD.

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
Walsh, M. W. (2016, April 13). Bill to Ease Puerto Rico Through $72 Billion Debt Crisis Introduced in House. New York Times, p. B8.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Cohen 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Cohen 2000; Smock and Gierasch 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Smock and Gierasch 2009)
  • Three or more authors: (Lien 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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