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.
Selker, E. U. Molecular biology. A self-help guide for a trim genome. Science 300, 1517–1518 (2003).
A journal article with 2 authors
1.
Veiseh, O. & Langer, R. Diabetes: A smart insulin patch. Nature 524, 39–40 (2015).
A journal article with 3 authors
1.
van Groenigen, K. J., Osenberg, C. W. & Hungate, B. A. Increased soil emissions of potent greenhouse gases under increased atmospheric CO2. Nature 475, 214–216 (2011).
A journal article with 6 or more authors
1.
Blanchoin, L. et al. Direct observation of dendritic actin filament networks nucleated by Arp2/3 complex and WASP/Scar proteins. Nature 404, 1007–1011 (2000).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
1.
Sharkh, S. M., Abusara, M. A., Orfanoudakis, G. I. & Hussain, B. Power Electronic Converters for Microgrids. (John Wiley & Sons, Singapore Pte. Ltd, 2014).
An edited book
1.
Innovation Networks: New Approaches in Modelling and Analyzing. (Springer, 2009).
A chapter in an edited book
1.
Kolokotronis, N., Limniotis, K. & Kalouptsidis, N. Efficient Computation of the Best Quadratic Approximations of Cubic Boolean Functions. in Cryptography and Coding: 11th IMA International Conference, Cirencester, UK, December 18-20, 2007. Proceedings (ed. Galbraith, S. D.) 73–91 (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 Methods.

Blog post
1.
Andrew, E. The Deadly Poison Lurking In A Frog The Size Of Your Fingernail. IFLScience (2015).

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. ADP Budget: Potential Reductions to the Department of the Army’s Budget Request. (1989).

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
1.
Harris, S. K. Dissecting the Disappearing Act: Discussing the Dissipation of Black Male Role Models in Black Communities. (Southern Illinois University, 2017).

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.
Shpigel, B. Pro Football; Jets Sign McCown. New York Times B10 (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
ScopeBiochemistry
Biotechnology
Cell Biology
Molecular Biology

Other styles