How to format your references using the Nature Methods citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Nature Methods. 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
Freger, V. MEMBRANES. Outperforming nature’s membranes. Science 348, 1317–1318 (2015).
A journal article with 2 authors
Silver, R. A. & Kanichay, R. T. Neuroscience. Refreshing connections. Science 320, 183–184 (2008).
A journal article with 3 authors
Pepe, F., Ehrenreich, D. & Meyer, M. R. Instrumentation for the detection and characterization of exoplanets. Nature 513, 358–366 (2014).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Strecker, K. E., Partridge, G. B., Truscott, A. G. & Hulet, R. G. Formation and propagation of matter-wave soliton trains. Nature 417, 150–153 (2002).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Phillips, J. J., Brantley, W. & Phillips, P. P. Project Management ROI. (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2011).
An edited book
Kleiber, M. Introduction to Nonlinear Thermomechanics of Solids. (Springer International Publishing, 2016).
A chapter in an edited book
Chebanov, D. On the Problem of Similar Motions of a Chain of Coupled Heavy Rigid Bodies. in Mathematical and Computational Approaches in Advancing Modern Science and Engineering (eds. Bélair, J. et al.) 47–57 (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 Methods.

Blog post
Andrew, E. Dear Prince Charles: An Open Letter About Homeopathy From A Chemist. IFLScience (2016). Available at: (Accessed: 30th October 2018)


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. Transportation Infrastructure: The Nation’s Highway Bridges Remain at Risk From Earthquakes. (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1992).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Huang, J. Multispectral Imaging of Skin Oxygenation. (Ohio State University, 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
Kishkovsky, S. From a Crate of Potatoes, a Noteworthy Gift Emerges. New York Times E2 (2002).

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 Methods
AbbreviationNat. Methods
ISSN (print)1548-7091
ISSN (online)1548-7105
Cell Biology
Molecular Biology

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