How to format your references using the Journal of Natural History citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Journal of Natural History. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
Gopnik A. 2012. Scientific thinking in young children: theoretical advances, empirical research, and policy implications. Science. 337:1623–1627.
A journal article with 2 authors
Caputo JM, Collins SH. 2014. Prosthetic ankle push-off work reduces metabolic rate but not collision work in non-amputee walking. Sci Rep. 4:7213.
A journal article with 3 authors
Cook DJ, Teves L, Tymianski M. 2012. Treatment of stroke with a PSD-95 inhibitor in the gyrencephalic primate brain. Nature. 483:213–217.
A journal article with 12 or more authors
Becker C, Wyss P, Eisenhauer D, Probst J, Preidel V, Hammerschmidt M, Burger S. 2014. 5 × 5 cm2 silicon photonic crystal slabs on glass and plastic foil exhibiting broadband absorption and high-intensity near-fields. Sci Rep. 4:5886.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Grant G. 2012. Ecosystem Services Come to Town. Oxford, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Matson JL, Andrasik F, Matson ML, editors. 2009. Assessing Childhood Psychopathology and Developmental Disabilities. New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Shoukry Y, Martin P, Tabuada P, Srivastava M. 2013. Non-invasive Spoofing Attacks for Anti-lock Braking Systems. In: Bertoni G, Coron J-S, editors. Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems - CHES 2013: 15th International Workshop, Santa Barbara, CA, USA, August 20-23, 2013 Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; p. 55–72.

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 Journal of Natural History.

Blog post
Davis J. 2016. Newly Formulated Liquid Aspirin Claimed To Be Able To Pass Through Blood-Brain Barrier. IFLScience [Internet]. [cited 2018 Oct 30]. Available from:


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. 1977. Safeguarding Taxpayer Information: An Evaluation of the Proposed Computerized Tax Administration System. 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
Choi Y-J. 2003. Function of Commissureless and Related Genes in Drosophila Neural Development [Doctoral dissertation]. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University.

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
Saslow L. 2005. A Foreign Affair: Italian Film Festival at Stony Brook. New York Times.:14LI10.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Gopnik 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Gopnik 2012; Caputo and Collins 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Caputo and Collins 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Becker et al. 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleJournal of Natural History
AbbreviationJ. Nat. Hist.
ISSN (print)0022-2933
ISSN (online)1464-5262
ScopeEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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