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
Dalton, R. Anger as Princeton closes ‘inspirational’ museum. Nature 407, 825 (2000).
A journal article with 2 authors
Chandler, J. A. & Turelli, M. Comment on ‘The hologenomic basis of speciation: gut bacteria cause hybrid lethality in the genus Nasonia’. Science 345, 1011 (2014).
A journal article with 3 authors
Poulsen, C. J., Tabor, C. & White, J. D. CLIMATE CHANGE. Long-term climate forcing by atmospheric oxygen concentrations. Science 348, 1238–1241 (2015).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Judge, J., Wilson, G. J., Macarthur, R., Delahay, R. J. & McDonald, R. A. Density and abundance of badger social groups in England and Wales in 2011-2013. Sci. Rep. 4, 3809 (2014).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Padilla, E. Substation Automation Systems. (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2015).
An edited book
Concepts and Controversies in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. (Springer US, 2005).
A chapter in an edited book
Michalke, T., Fritsch, J. & Goerick, C. Enhancing Robustness of a Saliency-Based Attention System for Driver Assistance. in Computer Vision Systems: 6th International Conference, ICVS 2008 Santorini, Greece, May 12-15, 2008 Proceedings (eds. Gasteratos, A., Vincze, M. & Tsotsos, J. K.) 43–55 (Springer, 2008).

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
Andrew, E. Lung Cancer Vaccine Development Regains Hope. 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. Highway Financing: Factors Affecting Highway Trust Fund Revenues. (2002).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Ganji, V. G. Exploring the application of haptic feedback guidance for port crane modernization. (California State University, Long Beach, 2013).

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
Crow, K. For N.Y.U.’s Senior Revels, Is Quieter Quiet Enough? New York Times 145 (2003).

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

Other styles