How to format your references using the Nature Biotechnology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Nature Biotechnology. 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
Heritage, J. Plant sciences. Will GM rapeseed cut the mustard? Science 302, 401–403 (2003).
A journal article with 2 authors
Nutman, A. P. & Friend, C. R. L. Comment on ‘A vestige of Earth’s oldest ophiolite’. Science 318, 746 (2007).
A journal article with 3 authors
Assefa, S., Xia, F. & Vlasov, Y. A. Reinventing germanium avalanche photodetector for nanophotonic on-chip optical interconnects. Nature 464, 80–84 (2010).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Bukowski, R., Szalewicz, K., Groenenboom, G. C. & van der Avoird, A. Predictions of the properties of water from first principles. Science 315, 1249–1252 (2007).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Coulson, J. Sustainable Use of Wood in Construction. (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2014).
An edited book
The Basal Ganglia: Novel Perspectives on Motor and Cognitive Functions. (Springer International Publishing, 2016).
A chapter in an edited book
Jörntell, H. Synergy Control in Subcortical Circuitry: Insights from Neurophysiology. in Human and Robot Hands: Sensorimotor Synergies to Bridge the Gap Between Neuroscience and Robotics (eds. Bianchi, M. & Moscatelli, A.) 61–68 (Springer International Publishing, 2016).

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 Nature Biotechnology.

Blog post
Andrew, E. Lead Magnetizes Graphene, With Implications For Future Computing. IFLScience (2014).


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. Aviation Security: Corrective Actions Underway, but Better Inspection Guidance Still Needed. (1988).

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Pestano, A. C. The Utilization of a Web-Based Internet Application to Improve Access and Efficiency of In-Home Care Services Provided by Personal Care Aides. (California State University, Long Beach, 2017).

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
Barron, J. A Hospital, Once Afloat, Is Buoyant With Over a Century of Memories. New York Times A21 (2017).

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in superscript:

This sentence cites one reference 1.
This sentence cites two references 1,2.
This sentence cites four references 1–4.

About the journal

Full journal titleNature Biotechnology
AbbreviationNat. Biotechnol.
ISSN (print)1087-0156
ISSN (online)1546-1696
Molecular Medicine
Biomedical Engineering
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

Other styles