How to format your references using the Nature Materials citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Nature Materials. 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
Phillips, D. Obituary: George Porter (1920-2002). Nature 419, 578 (2002).
A journal article with 2 authors
Müller, B. & Sheen, J. Cytokinin and auxin interaction in root stem-cell specification during early embryogenesis. Nature 453, 1094–1097 (2008).
A journal article with 3 authors
Sezen, U. U., Chazdon, R. L. & Holsinger, K. E. Genetic consequences of tropical second-growth forest regeneration. Science 307, 891 (2005).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Shechter, R. et al. Hypothalamic neuronal toll-like receptor 2 protects against age-induced obesity. Sci. Rep. 3, 1254 (2013).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Keegan, K. D. Biotechnology Valuation. (John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2008).
An edited book
Circulating microRNAs in Disease Diagnostics and their Potential Biological Relevance. vol. 106 (Springer, 2015).
A chapter in an edited book
Srinivasan, A. & Goyal, M. Digital Subtraction Angiography in Carotid Artery Stenosis. in Imaging of Carotid Artery Stenosis (ed. Schaller, B. J.) 41–47 (Springer, 2007).

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 Materials.

Blog post
Hamilton, K. What The Bourne Films Get Right And Wrong About Amnesia. 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. ADP Standards: Army Cancels Restrictive 3-Tier Architecture Standards. (1988).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Sripinit, T. How Much Do We Understand About Asymmetric Effects of Monetary Policy? (University of North Carolina, 2012).

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
Hubbard, B. Iran and Saudis Trade Barbs With Pilgrimage Set to Start. New York Times A9 (2016).

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 Materials
AbbreviationNat. Mater.
ISSN (print)1476-1122
ISSN (online)1476-4660
ScopeGeneral Chemistry
Mechanical Engineering
Mechanics of Materials
General Materials Science
Condensed Matter Physics

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