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
Tabashnik, B. E. Plant science. Communal benefits of transgenic corn. Science 330, 189–190 (2010).
A journal article with 2 authors
Carter, L. J. & Pigford, T. H. Nuclear waste. Proof of safety at Yucca Mountain. Science 310, 447–448 (2005).
A journal article with 3 authors
Sia, G. M., Clem, R. L. & Huganir, R. L. The human language-associated gene SRPX2 regulates synapse formation and vocalization in mice. Science 342, 987–991 (2013).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Dundr, M. et al. A kinetic framework for a mammalian RNA polymerase in vivo. Science 298, 1623–1626 (2002).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ghiani, G., Laporte, G. & Musmanno, R. Introduction to Logistics Systems Planning and Control. (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2005).
An edited book
Linear Algebra Thoroughly Explained. (Springer, 2008).
A chapter in an edited book
Meynard, J.-M. Innovating in cropping and farming systems. in Renewing innovation systems in agriculture and food: How to go towards more sustainability? (eds. Coudel, E., Devautour, H., Soulard, C. T., Faure, G. & Hubert, B.) 89–108 (Wageningen Academic Publishers, 2013).

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
Taub, B. Herpes Kills Your Butthole Neurons And Makes You Constipated. 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. Elementary School Children: Many Change Schools Frequently, Harming Their Education. (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1994).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Bishop, S. The impact of attachment and social support on parents of children with autism. (California State University, Long Beach, 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
Paulson, M. Trump Twitter Quarrel With Michael Moore. New York Times C3 (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 1,1.
This sentence cites four references 1,1,1,1.

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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