How to format your references using the Nature Chemical Biology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Nature Chemical Biology. 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
Marley, M. S. Planetary science. Probing an extrasolar planet. Science 339, 1393–1394 (2013).
A journal article with 2 authors
England, P. C. & Katz, R. F. Global systematics of arc volcano position. Nature 468, E6-7; discussion E7-8 (2010).
A journal article with 3 authors
Briggman, K. L., Abarbanel, H. D. I. & Kristan, W. B., Jr. Optical imaging of neuronal populations during decision-making. Science 307, 896–901 (2005).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Nan, T., Liu, M., Ren, W., Ye, Z.-G. & Sun, N. X. Voltage control of metal-insulator transition and non-volatile ferroelastic switching of resistance in VOx/PMN-PT heterostructures. Sci. Rep. 4, 5931 (2014).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Tao, F., Zhang, L. & Hu, Y. Resource Service Management in Manufacturing Grid System. (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2011).
An edited book
Agent-Mediated Electronic Commerce. Designing Trading Agents and Mechanisms: AAMAS 2005 Workshop, AMEC 2005, Utrecht, Netherlands, July 25, 2005, and IJCAI 2005 Workshop, TADA 2005, Edinburgh, UK, August 1, 2005, Selected and Revised Papers. 3937, (Springer, 2006).
A chapter in an edited book
Ploussard, G., Hoznek, A., Salomon, L., Abbou, C. C. & de la Taille, A. Retroperitoneoscopic Simple and Radical Nephrectomy. in Retroperitoneal Robotic and Laparoscopic Surgery: The Extraperitoneal Approach (eds. Joseph, J. V. & Patel, H. R. H.) 49–59 (Springer, 2011).

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 Chemical Biology.

Blog post
Luntz, S. The Science Of Why This Dress Looks Different Colors To Different People. IFLScience (2015). Available at: (Accessed: 30th 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. Transportation Infrastructure: Urban Transportation Planning Can Better Address Modal Trade-offs. (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1992).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Patel, D. S. GoSchoolPro: A Web Portal for the Students Using MVC Architecture and ASP.NET Framework. (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
Feeney, K. ‘The Way It’s Done in Japan’. New York Times NJ15 (2009).

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 Chemical Biology
AbbreviationNat. Chem. Biol.
ISSN (print)1552-4450
ISSN (online)1552-4469
ScopeCell Biology
Molecular Biology

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