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
Chambers, J. Planetary science: Archaeology of the asteroid belt. Nature 460, 963–964 (2009).
A journal article with 2 authors
Steinhardt, P. J. & Turok, N. Why the cosmological constant is small and positive. Science 312, 1180–1183 (2006).
A journal article with 3 authors
Voog, J., D’Alterio, C. & Jones, D. L. Multipotent somatic stem cells contribute to the stem cell niche in the Drosophila testis. Nature 454, 1132–1136 (2008).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Seal, K. et al. Resolving transitions in the mesoscale domain configuration in VO2 using laser speckle pattern analysis. Sci. Rep. 4, 6259 (2014).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Sluga, H. Wittgenstein. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011).
An edited book
Advances in Visual Computing: 5th International Symposium, ISVC 2009, Las Vegas, NV, USA, November 30-December 2, 2009. Proceedings, Part II. vol. 5876 (Springer, 2009).
A chapter in an edited book
Kezunovic, M., Ren, J. & Lotfifard, S. Design and Implementation of Relay Communication Schemes and Trip Logic. in Design, Modeling and Evaluation of Protective Relays for Power Systems (eds. Ren, J. & Lotfifard, S.) 171–188 (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 Chemical Biology.

Blog post
Andrews, R. Charon’s Cracks Formed During Ancient Near-Misses With Other Worlds. IFLScience (2016).


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. Space Station: Status of Financial Reserves. (1992).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Dixon-Thompson, T. L. The relationship between the usage of a Computer Assisted Instructional (CAI) program, Ticket to Read (T2R) and reading achievement in third grade. (Capella University, 2015).

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
ABBY GOODNOUGH; Linda Brockman contributed reporting from Fort Lauderdale for this article. Wanting Facts Firsthand, Teenager Makes Secret Trip to Iraq. New York Times A10 (2005).

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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