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
Brockie, B. (2001). GM cows face slaughter in multiple sclerosis experiment. Nature, 411(6836), 402.
A journal article with 2 authors
Chen, J., & Gottesman, S. (2014). RNA. Riboswitch regulates RNA. Science (New York, N.Y.), 345(6199), 876–877.
A journal article with 3 authors
Glazier, A. M., Nadeau, J. H., & Aitman, T. J. (2002). Finding genes that underlie complex traits. Science (New York, N.Y.), 298(5602), 2345–2349.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Yao, J., Munson, K. M., Webb, W. W., & Lis, J. T. (2006). Dynamics of heat shock factor association with native gene loci in living cells. Nature, 442(7106), 1050–1053.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Schmidt, P., Körber, R., & Coppers, M. (2003). Sieben und Siebmaschinen. Weinheim, FRG: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Gao, F. (2014). Channel Estimation for Physical Layer Network Coding Systems. (C. Xing & G. Wang, Eds.). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Basnyat, S., Chozos, N., Johnson, C., & Palanque, P. (2006). Incident and Accident Investigation Techniques to Inform Model-Based Design of Safety-Critical Interactive Systems. In S. W. Gilroy & M. D. Harrison (Eds.), Interactive Systems. Design, Specification, and Verification: 12th International Workshop, DSVIS 2005, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, July 13-15, 2005. Revised Papers (pp. 51–66). 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
Andrew, E. (2015, January 21). Chimps And Gorillas Desperately Need Ebola Vaccine Too – Virus Has Wiped Out A Third Of Them. 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. (1978). Activities of the Economic Opportunities Development Corporation of San Antonio and Bexar County, Texas (No. HRD-78-106). 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
Mueller, K. (2017). Biases in the Selection Process Against Applicants with Tattoos (Doctoral dissertation). Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL.

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
Brantley, B. (2017, August 1). How Murdoch Became the King of England. New York Times, p. AR7.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Brockie 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Brockie 2001; Chen and Gottesman 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Chen and Gottesman 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Yao 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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