How to format your references using the Nature Genetics citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Nature Genetics. 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
Chyba, C. F. Atmospheric science. Rethinking Earth’s early atmosphere. Science 308, 962–963 (2005).
A journal article with 2 authors
Fisher, C. R. & Girguis, P. Microbiology. A proteomic snapshot of life at a vent. Science 315, 198–199 (2007).
A journal article with 3 authors
Sinervo, B., Svensson, E. & Comendant, T. Density cycles and an offspring quantity and quality game driven by natural selection. Nature 406, 985–988 (2000).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Guo, C. et al. CTCF-binding elements mediate control of V(D)J recombination. Nature 477, 424–430 (2011).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Fisk, P. Chemical Risk Assessment. (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2013).
An edited book
Multiple System Atrophy. (Springer, 2014).
A chapter in an edited book
Van Strydonck, M. Radiocarbon Dating of Cremated Bones: An Overview. in Isotopic Landscapes in Bioarchaeology (eds. Grupe, G. & McGlynn, G. C.) 69–89 (Springer, 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 Genetics.

Blog post
Andrew, E. Newly discovered hand bone bridges important gap of human evolution. IFLScience (2013).


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. Department of Education: Key Aspects of the Federal Direct Loan Program’s Cost Estimates. (2001).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Finnegan, R. J. Information food webs: A quantitative inquiry using a biological food web methodology. (Capella University, 2010).

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
Flegenheimer, M. Piecing Through ‘Utter Chaos’ After Train Crash. New York Times A1 (2015).

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 Genetics
AbbreviationNat. Genet.
ISSN (print)1061-4036
ISSN (online)1546-1718

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