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
Grabowsky, M. The billion-dollar malaria moment. Nature 451, 1051–1052 (2008).
A journal article with 2 authors
Aragão, L. E. O. C. & Shimabukuro, Y. E. The incidence of fire in Amazonian forests with implications for REDD. Science 328, 1275–1278 (2010).
A journal article with 3 authors
Henry, G. T., Fortner, C. K. & Bastian, K. C. The effects of experience and attrition for novice high-school science and mathematics teachers. Science 335, 1118–1121 (2012).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
Hÿtch, M., Houdellier, F., Hüe, F. & Snoeck, E. Nanoscale holographic interferometry for strain measurements in electronic devices. Nature 453, 1086–1089 (2008).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Waupsh, J. Bankruption. (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2016).
An edited book
Global Administrative Law and EU Administrative Law: Relationships, Legal Issues and Comparison. (Springer, 2011).
A chapter in an edited book
Ramón-Vigo, R., Pérez-Higueras, N., Caballero, F. & Merino, L. A Framework for Modelling Local Human-Robot Interactions Based on Unsupervised Learning. in Social Robotics: 8th International Conference, ICSR 2016, Kansas City, MO, USA, November 1-3, 2016 Proceedings (eds. Agah, A., Cabibihan, J.-J., Howard, A. M., Salichs, M. A. & He, H.) 32–41 (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. Pope Says Climate Change Predominantly Man-Made And Calls For Action. IFLScience (2015).


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. Self-Sufficiency: Opportunities and Disincentives on the Road to Economic Independence. (1993).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Verret, J. E. Property Tax Limitations, School District Revenues, and Equity: Analyses of Pennsylvania’s Act One. (George Washington University, 2019).

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
Schwirtz, M. & Rashbaum, W. K. Departing Correction Chief: ‘They Just Want to Hammer Somebody Forever’. New York Times A19 (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 1,2.
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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