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
1.
Bertola, F. Astronomy. Putting galaxies on the scale. Science 295, 283–284 (2002).
A journal article with 2 authors
1.
Koo, H.-J. & Velev, O. D. Regenerable photovoltaic devices with a hydrogel-embedded microvascular network. Sci. Rep. 3, 2357 (2013).
A journal article with 3 authors
1.
Chait, R., Craney, A. & Kishony, R. Antibiotic interactions that select against resistance. Nature 446, 668–671 (2007).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
1.
Lang, Y. et al. Integration of TiO2 into the diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii during frustule synthesis. Sci. Rep. 3, 3205 (2013).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1.
Kodama, K. P. & Hinnov, L. A. Rock Magnetic Cyclostratigraphy. (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2014).
An edited book
1.
Theory and Applications of Satisfiability Testing – SAT 2010: 13th International Conference, SAT 2010, Edinburgh, UK, July 11-14, 2010. Proceedings. vol. 6175 (Springer, 2010).
A chapter in an edited book
1.
Beste, D. J. V. & McFadden, J. Metabolism of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. in Systems Biology of Tuberculosis (eds. McFadden, J., Beste, D. J. V. & Kierzek, A. M.) 55–78 (Springer, 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 Methods.

Blog post
1.
Andrew, E. How’s Your Walnut, Mate? Why Men Don’t Like To Talk About Their Enlarged Prostate. IFLScience https://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/how-s-your-walnut-mate-why-men-don-t-talk-about-their-enlarged-prostate/ (2016).

Reports

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
1.
Government Accountability Office. Analysis of NASA’s Fiscal Year 1983 Budget Request for Research and Development To Determine the Amount That Supports DOD’s Programs. (1982).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1.
Karlen, D. J. The Biocomplexity of Benthic Communities Associated with a Shallow-water Hydrothermal System in Papua New Guinea. (University of South Florida, 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
1.
Davey, M. & Walsh, M. W. Billions in Debt, Detroit Tumbles Into Insolvency. New York Times A1 (2013).

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
ScopeBiochemistry
Biotechnology
Cell Biology
Molecular Biology

Other styles